Productive Riverscapes

Food as a tool to connect people and nature in the city of Rotterdam

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The negative effects of climate change and the out-balanced carrying capacity are torturing our cities today. The field of urban planning and design is starting to research the idea of the city as a natural system. Still, the amount of major natural disasters torturing today’s cities proves the urge to rethink our urban systems even more. A productive landscape is referred to as a landscape in which ‘a symbiosis between housing, production, biodiversity and recreation is sought, all within the framework of (sustainable) urban landscape planning and design’. The focus of designing productive landscapes is on the physical spot, where city and nature confront each other in and around rivers of highly dense cities. How come these parts in particular became the battleground of human versus nature? Additionally, the research question is focussing on the production and consumption of food, as it both requires a great amount of space and affects ecological and socio-economic processes within fast growing cities. How to design productive riverscapes using food as a tool to shape the current riverfronts for stimulating social interaction and improving biodiversity in Rotterdam?