Seven layers of the Food Forest  The realms are built up with multiple layers of plants, together forming an integrated ecosystem. The different vegetation types and species attract insects and organisms that enforce each other. There are seven layers: The canopy, consisting of original and planted large trees. Low trees, consisting of smaller trees or half-standards. Shrub layer of fruit and berry bushes. Herb layer of multiannual vegetables and herbs. Soil covers, a layer of plants that spread horizontally. Underground layer of plants that produce roots or tubers. Climbers, a vertical layer of climbing plants. Besides to recreational benefits, the 15ha food forest enhances the ecosystem services of the area, including water management, heat reduction and air purification. The abundant green and blue spaces are harmoniously blended with the built environment. The quality of life is enhanced by providing a rich human experience, high biodiversity and extensive habitat for birds, bats and other species.   Neighborhood excursion on the National Architecture Day - June 2023 tree map If you want to know more about the types of trees that can be found in the neighborhood, have a look at the Tree Map. It shows you where to find all edible trees, what you can eat from them and when you can harvest.     Innovation Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood in Utrecht has won a special international prize; the Innovation in Politics Award 2021. A public jury of European citizens praised the cooperation between the neighborhood and the municipality and awarded the first prize in the category 'ecology' to the municipality of Utrecht.   " />

Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood

Urban Food Forest Rijnvliet, Utrecht

Rijnvliet is a new residential area in Utrecht. It is part of the Leidsche Rijn expansion area that provides 1000 new ground-based dwellings. The masterplan is developed by DeZwarteHond. Felixx designed the public space in the area as an edible, educative landscape. The layout is based on the principles of food forestry and developed in collaboration with residents and Æ – Food Forestry Development. 

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Participatory Co-design

Utrecht municipality aims to achieve a healthy future for the city by providing high-quality public green space. When neighbors and residents proposed an urban food forest for Rijnvliet, the municipality embraced their grassroot initiative and included it in the design phases. Together with the municipality, a special concept for the public space has been developed: all the greenery is edible for humans, or animals, and there will be a central food forest.

Today the public space of Rijnvliet consists of a 15ha food forest with more than a thousand (fruit) trees and 220 different (sub)species of edible plants, herbs & shrubs. The entire district is embedded within a productive landscape, integrating three values: food production, usage and nature. 

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Seven layers of the Food Forest 

Seven layers of a food forest

The realms are built up with multiple layers of plants, together forming an integrated ecosystem. The different vegetation types and species attract insects and organisms that enforce each other. There are seven layers:

  1. The canopy, consisting of original and planted large trees.
  2. Low trees, consisting of smaller trees or half-standards.
  3. Shrub layer of fruit and berry bushes.
  4. Herb layer of multiannual vegetables and herbs.
  5. Soil covers, a layer of plants that spread horizontally.
  6. Underground layer of plants that produce roots or tubers.
  7. Climbers, a vertical layer of climbing plants.

Besides to recreational benefits, the 15ha food forest enhances the ecosystem services of the area, including water management, heat reduction and air purification. The abundant green and blue spaces are harmoniously blended with the built environment. The quality of life is enhanced by providing a rich human experience, high biodiversity and extensive habitat for birds, bats and other species.

  
Neighborhood excursion on the National Architecture Day - June 2023

tree map

If you want to know more about the types of trees that can be found in the neighborhood, have a look at the Tree Map. It shows you where to find all edible trees, what you can eat from them and when you can harvest.

   

Innovation

Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood in Utrecht has won a special international prize; the Innovation in Politics Award 2021. A public jury of European citizens praised the cooperation between the neighborhood and the municipality and awarded the first prize in the category 'ecology' to the municipality of Utrecht. 

Year

2017 - Current

Location

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Type

Landscape, Public Space

Client

Municipality of Utrecht

Size

15 ha

Awards

2023 Dame Sylvia Crowe International [Winner]
2023 LOOP Design Awards [Winner]
2023 Landscape institute Award [Finalist]
2023 WLA Honour Award [winner]
2023 A+ Award [finalist]
2021 Innovation in Politics Award [winner]

Publications

Planur-e
GRAS
NRC
FRAMEweb
Bomenkaart
World Landscape Architect
AD.nl
CG Concept
City Deal
Leidsche Rijn Hogeschool Utrecht
Leidsche Rijn maken we samen
Leidsche-Rijn
Metaal Kathedraal
RTV Utrecht
Regio Leidsche Rijn
Straatbeeld
Gemeente Utrecht

Team & partners

Michiel Van Driessche
Marnix Vink
Deborah Lambert
Fieke Damen
Robert-Jan van der Linden
DeZwarteHond
Xavier San Giorgi – Æ Food Forestry Development

List
  1. Regulateur Gruno district
  2. Eemsdelta Campus
  3. Jonas Amsterdam
  4. K64 KEFLAVÍK AIRPORT AREA MASTERPLAN
  5. Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood
  6. Railroad Zone Amsterdam
  7. FROM NODE TO PLACE
  8. MASTERPLAN FLORA CAMPUS WESTLAND
  9. Alongside the Schie
  10. New Space - Design Guideline Liveability of Public Space, Groningen
  11. From Airport to Birdport
  12. Brainport Industries Campus
  13. Hondsrug Park Amsterdam
  14. Yangmeikeng Sea Boulevard
  15. Healthy Tracks
  16. Towards a healthy city by foot
  17. Floating Gardens, Amsterdam
  18. The Unbound Amsterdam
  19. Seaside Gardens, Gufunes
  20. Brainport Smart District Helmond
  21. The Swan, Zwolle (NL)
  22. Spatial Framework Blankenburg Süden, Berlin
  23. 'Typhoon-proof' Shenzhen's East Coast
  24. Circular City Bodø 2.0
  25. A green entrance for the airport
  26. Public Space Alpen
  27. Cartesius Quarter
  28. Isle of Dikes
  29. Smakkelaarsveld Utrecht
  30. Darmstadt Masterplan 2030+
  31. Bao’An G107 Corridor
  32. Master Plan Ter Aar, Nieuwkoop
  33. Waterfront Novosibirsk
  34. City Square Tyumen
  35. Almazov National Medical Research Centre
  36. Strategic Urban Green Study
  37. Public Space Strategy Kanpur
  38. Quartierlandschaft Dietenbach
  39. ImageWharf
  40. Ódinstorg Square
  41. Overloon War Museum
  42. Lokhalle Leverkusen
  43. Ludlstrasse Munich
  44. Yaanila Country Park
  45. Redevelopment Strategy Vogabyggð
  46. Villa Garden
  47. City life in the woods
  48. Schie Quarter Schiedam
  49. Socio-technical city of the future
  50. Buji River
  51. Vaskhnil Novosibirsk
  52. Precincts Canterbury Cathedral
  53. Maritime Campus Almere
  54. Resilient Riverscape Berat
  55. Sijthoff
  56. Strategic Plan Shkodra
  57. Ekaterinburg City Campus
  58. Transformation Strategy Gufunes
  59. Transformation Strategy Chelyabinsk
  60. Fish Market Leuven
  61. Zinder Culture Cluster
  62. Food Innovation Strip Ede-Wageningen
  63. S4 Highway Hangzhou
  64. Strategic Plan Fier
  65. Strategic Plan Elbasan
  66. Kronenburg Business Park
  67. Dharavi Mumbai
  68. Masterplan Smáralind Mall
  69. Urban Test Farm Emmen
  70. Ásbrú Enterprise Park
  71. Asylum Seekers Center Ter Apel
  72. Berlin Am Volkspark
  73. The Museum of the 20th Century
  74. Gardabaer
  75. Metropolitan Westerpark Amsterdam
  76. Science and Technology City Chongqing
  77. Yue Xiu 353 Transformation
  78. 5YN3RGY
  79. Erlongshan Recreational Park
  80. Danxia Recreational Park
  81. Campus Lelystad
  82. Proto Tamansari
  83. City Gardens Tyumen
  84. Park Somerlust Amsterdam
  85. Agricultural Innovation Campus
  86. Bandar Lampung Park
  87. R&D Campus Fengxian
  88. S-West Eindhoven
  89. Biodiversity based dairy farming
  90. Heidelberg Creative Quarter
  91. Barendrecht Vrouwenpolder
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