Urban agriculture in Oosterwold
Organic development We do not know what urban agriculture in Oosterwold will look like later. This is because of the unique way in which this area will be developed. As pioneers in the field of self-building and private commissioning, the municipalities of Almere and Zeewolde decided to also leave the area development in Oosterwold to individual initiative. This means that the residents will not only get control of their own homes but also of industry, roads and paths, green areas, water and public areas. For this reason, it is impossible to say how quickly Oosterwold will develop, let alone what the final result will look like. In choosing an organic development strategy, the municipalities are taking randomness as their starting point.
Development towards urban agriculture
The municipalities are allowing more space for individual initiatives and are taking a definite step back. However, this does not mean that they have no ideas about the future of Oosterwold. The vision and rules for Oosterwold are stated in an intermunicipal structural vision, in which the choice of urban agriculture is also explained in more detail. Agriculture is changing its function and shifting its products and services away from the world market to a local focus. This can affect the scale of the farm but does not necessarily have to do so. The diversity of farming will just become much greater. Large-scale farms will remain, but they will be joined by private initiatives, estates, recreation, healthcare and other forms of farming. The intention is that approximately half of the total area will be reserved for urban agriculture. In concrete terms this means that every development in Oosterwold must be surrounded by a free zone for roads, green areas, water and urban agriculture. What is more, the energy supply, water catchment and recycling will have to be arranged locally – here too the authorities will be taking a step back. Agriculture can play a major role in this as the water catchment manager, energy producer or waste purchaser.
This development strategy makes Oosterwold unique. Nowhere else in the world do (urban) farmers contribute to the development of a new, green city on such a scale. But it is far from easy to say what will and will not work. Oosterwold will be a breeding ground of experiments.