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Investigating integration of edible plants in urban open spaces: Evaluation of policy challenges and successes of implementation

Hajzeri, Arlinda, Kwadwo, Victor Osei
Land use policy 2019 v.84 pp. 43-48
biodiversity, food plants, food production, green infrastructure, interviews, issues and policy, landscapes, open space, parks, planning, stakeholders, urban areas, Germany
Urban landscape planners are gradually seeking opportunities to integrate edible plants in urban open spaces. The new demands to enhance urban biodiversity, food production and raise environmental awareness is bringing into the forefront the need to rethink the conventional ways of planning and designing urban open spaces. The new wave of integrating edible plants in parks and other green spaces consist of emerging policies like the edible city policy or edible district policy. Those policies assess urban green spaces towards a new approach of multifunctional use and on how to enable such places to host a wide range of edible plants. There is, however, a limited understanding of how effective these policies are in supporting and enhancing the integration of edible plants into urban open spaces. In order to shed light on these challenges, this paper evaluates the “Edible District of Friedrichshain -Kreuzberg (Der Essbare Bezirk Friedrichshain -Kreuzberg) Policy” that has been implemented in Friedrichshain -Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany. Based on the analysis of this policy and interviews with local stakeholders, this work explores the challenges of effective integration of edible plant into urban open spaces by means of planning and policy support. In addition, it provides an overview of the structure and role of the Edible District of Friedrichshain -Kreuzberg policy. We conclude that the concept of integrating edible plants provides a useful argument to promote and protect native edible plants and to rethink the design and use of urban open spaces.