Most of our food is produced far from the place where it is consumed. Food has a long way to go, traveling from country side to city, before it ends up on a plate. The Food Chain City uses the possibilities offered by the city to enhance and preserve existing food chains by bringing consumers and producers together.
Inspired by The London Food Strategy; an initiative from Londen's mayor Ken Livingstone in 2006, 'Het Portaal'; is investigating a way to close the gap between city and country side. Part of this concept is based on the garden village movement that started in the beginning of the 20th century. The focus is on the Randstad, a high density urban area in the western part of the Netherlands. City and country-side are a first site two different worlds. The country-side is the place to make the food, the city the place to consume the food. A clear separation between producers and consumers. In reality the city - inhabitants, consumers, companies and municipalities- plays a much more important role than is suggested. This was always the case and still is nowadays. From both sides parties are changing the food chains, to shorten the distance between production and consumption. Parts of the agro productions can be even integrated into the city. The Food Chain City gives a simple and realistic answer to the problems of urbanisation.
There are a number of measurements to bring consumers and producers of food together. For example:
- The expansion of allotment gardens in the city. Allotment garden owners should be able to sell their products to other inhabitants, for example in supermarkets.
- The introduction of fruit trees into the city brings food closer to the people. Sell local produced products from around the city and promote and enhance the culinary qualities of the city.
- The expansion of production facilities in the urban fabric, like agro parks.
- Solutions on architectural level are for example the building 'Het Portaal' designed with 25 dwellings in a newly built green zone. Green houses in the building make it possible for inhabitants to grow their own food.