Horizon 2020 project EFUA has started

Staging urban agriculture in the city centre of Milan as part of Expo 2015 Copyright: © D. Münderlein

The Institute of Landscape Architecture within the Faculty of Architecture has recently become involved in the coordination of a new H2020 Research and Innovation project involving the development of a European Forum on Urban Agriculture. In taking forward this exciting, new project, the Institute is assisted by the European Funding Office of RWTH.


Urban Agriculture (UA) can help provide answers to significant global challenges, through delivering multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. On a very simple level urban agriculture, urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around urban areas. Significantly UA can help to deliver key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which form the basis of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN. It can also contribute to the delivery of key policy agendas of the EU including Challenges identified in the EU’s Urban Agenda.

Daniel Münderlein the EFUA Project Co-coordinator with RWTH institute of Landscape Architecture said,
“This is a fantastic opportunity to build upon the previous track record of work in the field of Urban Agriculture already developed by the Institute of Landscape Architecture through the COST Action. It is exciting to have the opportunity to work with so many committed partners to take UA into the heart of European policy and practice”

The EFUA vision will also involve partners beyond Europe to create a global movement of practitioners, researchers and engaged citizens. EFUA stands for a synergised approach involving civil society, agricultural businesses, researchers and government working together to deliver common goals through participation in the UA Forum. In particular this will deliver:

  • Better networking of stakeholders in Urban Agriculture
  • Better knowledge in Urban Agriculture
  • Better deployment of Urban Agriculture
  • Better policies for Urban Agriculture

The European Forum for Urban Agriculture (EFUA) is a 4 year project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. EFUA brings together an extensive network of researchers, practitioners and citizens from all over Europe. Members of the consortium include: Risorse R.P.R. SPA (ITALY), Mammut Film SRL (Italy), Boerenbond (Belgium), Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (Bulgaria), Kobenhavns Universitet (Denmark), Wageningen University & Stichting Wageningen Research (Netherlands), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Aeres Groep (Netherlands), Fachochschule Sudwestfalen (Germany). The EFUA partners will work together closely to share latest knowledge through, networking, publications and the development of best practice guidelines. EFUA will create and develop the UA Platform, a web based interface which aims to increase stakeholder participation and dialogue around Europe.

The project runs from 2020-2024. EFUA’s objectives are to unlock Urban Agriculture’s potential through achieving better knowledge, better deployment, and better policies in the field. Through establishing an Urban Agriculture (UA) Forum, it aims to develop new levels of stakeholder engagement to inform decision making and to mainstream Urban Agriculture into European, regional and local policy. EFUA’s workflow is organized around “quad helix” principles into three loops culminating in public conferences and the co-design of an UA vision. To achieve an impact, the work of the EFUA has been structured into 5 WPs (Work Packages), based around different thematic aspects of the programme. RWTH is involved to some degree in all of the WPs, however particularly with regard to WP1 , the overall coordination and WP2, the networking, engagement and CDE aspects of the project.

Frank Lohrberg, Professor of Landscape Architecture at RWTH summarised;

“UA offers great potential to deliver multifunctional sustainable development outcomes but has yet to fully integrate into the heart of European policy and practice. The EFUA project will address this through developing a coordinated and networked vision for UA which builds upon previous work in the field, particularly the COST Action “Urban Agriculture Europe”, which the Institute of Landscape Architecture was previously involved in. We are very proud to have the opportunity to host this new innovative H2020 project at RWTH and look forward to developing a new Sustainable Vision for UA through the work of our partners in the UA Forum.”