TERRITORIAL INNOVATION AND URBAN AGRICULTURE: IN MONTPELLIER, THE 4th TRANSNATIONAL WORKING GROUP OF MADRE.

The partners of the European project on urban and peri-urban agriculture met in the French city on January 24th and 25th, to discuss the next steps and actions to be implemented.

Territorial innovation was the core of MADRE 4th Transnational Working Group (TWG). Hosted by CIHEAM-IAMM, the partners met in Montpellier, to discuss the two main issues of the topic in relation to urban and peri-urban agriculture: what are the current institutional and political tools implemented in land-use planning (territorial development) to advantage metropolitan agriculture and food system? Will the development of technology-intensive agriculture hinder the agricultural activities of small holdings surrounding the metropolises, and what could be the impact on the use of metropolitan and peri-urban agricultural land?

After a brief introduction on Montpellier’s territorial policies and land use planning, partners and stakeholders spit up into groups and, thanks to the world café methodology, addressed the abovementioned issues debating on some related questions: what public policies should be deployed to promote the development of urban and peri-urban agriculture? Does current land law advantage the protection and safeguarding of agricultural land in metropolitan territories? What are the citizens' initiatives to preserve agricultural land and metropolitan ecosystems? 

The second day of the TWG was dedicated to the field visit to some of the MPA good practices located on Montpellier’s metropolitan territory. 

Both the world café and the experience of the field visits contributed to broaden the view on urban and peri-urban agriculture, and helped partners and stakeholders in defining the course of action necessary to promote these practices.