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Urban Food Forest Rijnvliet, Utrecht

Rijnvliet, Edible Neighborhood

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.

felixx-rijnvliet-visualzooms.jpg

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.

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