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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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The entire district is embedded within a productive landscape, integrating three values: food production, usage and nature. Therefore the principles to create a ‘food forest’ are merged with the functionalities required for the surrounding residential areas. 

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.

The central part of Rijnvliet combines all these layers. For the public space in adjoining areas aspects such as safety & maintenance limit the full application of all layers. Instead, the public space design focused on a set of layers for each part, creating four distinct areas. The (edible) Fruit-, Leaf-, Nut- and Flower-neighborhood.

Innovation

Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood breaks new ground in urban planning by using participatory design to co-create a residential neighborhood around accessible urban agriculture.  Using ideas submitted by residents, Rijnvliet is implementing an ecologically resilient 150,000 m2 urban food forest with over 200 species of (edible) flora, that doubles up as green infrastructure offering recreational benefits and ecosystem services including water management, reduction of heat, and cleaning the air. The abundant green and blue spaces are harmoniously merged together with the built environment enhancing the quality of live for inhabitants and the rich biodiversity for all living things, giving Rijnvliet a very powerful identity.

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Sustainable future

The productive landscape of Rijnvliet serves as a backbone and creates social cohesion within a community by requiring a coordinated effort for its care and maintenance. The resident engagement already contributed in educational, recreational, and natural qualities for Rijnvliet and added new concepts and ideas to its design, such as beehives on a ‘bee island’, isolated nesting island for birds and ‘food-forest range and garden’ maintenance programs. The active participation in the implementation of the food forest principles of the public space gives residents a strong stake in the future of the area and is the best assurance for long-term commitment to the stewardship of their Edible Neighborhood, Rijnvliet.


Photo's of first tree planting day, March 2019

Year

2017 - Current

Location

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Type

Landscape, Public Space

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