Transforming German Cities Into Organic Food Gardens

Sourced from Deutsche Welle

With ever more people living in urban centers, food security — and quality — is becoming a pressing issue. In Germany, cities are increasingly taking the task of producing organic products to a hyperlocal level.

In Nuremberg, every first-grader starts the year with a gift: a yellow plastic lunchbox filled with healthy food.

The gift, refilled daily, is part of a city initiative to increase the share of local, organic food in public institutions — not just daycare centers and schools, but also retirement homes, hospitals, correctional facilities and administrative centers.

As part of Biostädte, or organic cities, it joins a network of municipalities across Germany — including Munich, Bremen and Karlsruhe — working to make food production healthier and more sustainable.

Greening cities — also for food production

In other cities like Berlin, Cologne and Kiel, similar food councils are introducing urban and community-supported agriculture, which includes the greening of new buildings and the transformation of uncontaminated industrial land into community gardens.

Their plans also include projects for car-free, solar-powered districts where edible plants grow on and around buildings.

Local citizens are being encouraged to cultivate useful crops, using public green areas in their neighborhoods to plant rows of potato plants or fruit trees. Doing so gives municipal coffers a break: it costs less than designing and maintaining public green spaces with ornamental plants.

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