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2018-Dec-03 : Productive green zones in Tokyo, Japan
Last week, André Viljoen returned from his first working visit to Japan where he acts as a consultant to Nerima City on invitation by the City’s Mayor. André writes:

‘Tokyo was a revelation. During the 8-days of field work, most of my time was spent visiting an impressive and largely unknown, in the Anglo Saxon world, array of urban agriculture projects. Nerima City is a ward of Tokyo and was until the middle of the last century farm land feeding Tokyo. Today, over 15% of its land area is agricultural, sitting right in the middle of built-up areas. The farming practices we found were innovative, sophisticated and highly productive. The city has a defined “productive green zone” that includes spaces for urban agriculture, and this zone shares similarities with our concept for Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs). As exciting as seeing all of this was the openess of farmers, many of whom have been farming the area for over 300 years, to innovations such as the CPUL concept.’
One of many urban agriculture vending machines found in Nerima City, used by urban farmers for selling produce to local residents. They indicate how within Tokyo, culture and infrastructure are well positioned to accommodate an expansion of the local distribution networks required to enable extensive areas of productive landscape. (image: B&V 2018)
André is advising urban planners from the University of Tokyo and city officials from Nerima City since 2017 on issues around urban agriculture. During this visit, along with two other guests from New York and one from London, he gave feedback on Nerima’s urban agriculture and advised on the plans for next year’s Urban Agriculture World Summit, which will be hosted in Nerima.
For further information on the Urban Agriculture World Summit see here.

To keep up to date with the project's development see our blog Productive Urban Landscapes.