Agriculture, spatial development and urban-rural relationships

The growing urbanisation in Switzerland raises the need of coordination between the domains of agriculture, nature, landscape architecture, leisure, spatial planning and urban development. At the same time, the vicinity of rural areas to urban areas offers opportunities for innovative projects for urban agriculture and partnerships between city and countryside. There are, however, also challenges such as the integration of the agricultural sector into planning processes and into spatial planning on different stages (federation, canton, region, municipality and functional spaces, rural and urban zones), different claims on utilisation and the diversity of stakeholders.

AGRIDEA deals with different challenges within this theme:

  • Integration of agriculture in spatial and urban planning
  • Multifunctional use of soil
  • Development of new forms of agriculture and food production with a direct link to the city (agriculture and short marketing channels)

AGRIDEA is active on different levels:

  • Involvement in different studies in the field of spatial development and urban agriculture
  • Organisation of «hotspots» in the case of open questions after law changes or consultations to support organisations and to anticipate change
  • Development and distribution of tools and methods concerning the integration of agriculture into planning processes (agricultural planning, participative approaches, agricultural expert opinion in regional and municipal planning processes)


Opens window for sending emailRuth Moser and Opens window for sending emailCamille Kroug


ProjectsBrief description
Urban land-use plan „Lausanne nord“(VD)  An agricultural planning project aiming to relieve the pressure set on agricultural areas with the development of agglomerations. The study aims to support agricultural stakeholders to make objective choices of opportunities and restrictions. It further aims to integrate agriculture into planning processes and to sensitize the non-agricultural population.
Distribution of local products and expansion of short marketing channels (GE) The study evaluates the possibilities of distribution and marketing of local products as well as to strengthen short marketing channels in the area of the city of Geneva.
Greenhouses on rooftopsThe agricultural service of the canton of Geneva asked to clarify the potential of building greenhouses on industrial rooftops. A consortium was founded to evaluate the feasibility of this idea.
Food Urbanism Initiative Lausanne (VD)
The « Food Urbanism Initiative (FUI) » analyses the impact of food production on urbanisation and urban planning. FUI analyses landscape planning and architectural strategies to integrate production, processing, distribution and consumption in Swiss cities.

Case example from the project Rethink: Value chain of peri-urban food in various municipalities in the area of the city of Berne.
The roles of multi-actor networks and value chains of food production are analysed in this project. The increasing number of diverse urban and peri-urban food production initiatives mirrors the need of the population for sustainable products. At the same time producers develop skills in marketing, regional labels and processing of products. The case study investigates various aspects of the impacts of this tendency.

Urban farms

A general feasibility study to explore the valorisation of public spaces through agricultural use in urban farms. Those spaces should serve as recreational zones as well as agricultural production.


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