It was in October 2012 that I started telling a story called ‘The Sustainable Urban Delta’. I was invited by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) to contribute to a lecture with the theme of ‘Living well in times of crisis; how is it possible?’. I encouraged people to look at the Netherlands as one big city with an integrated green belt of food production. Just picture a big city that is able to produce more food than it needs. The Dutch didn’t plan this design. They didn’t have a choice, being with just too many on too small a plot of land.
Over the years I continued to share the idea of the Sustainable Urban Delta to show the astonishing effect of restoring green belts of food production in cities. The Sustainable Urban Delta became more and more relevant. Food production has a big impact on climate change, which even gets worse by unfair subsidies and uneven distribution. It causes injustice, waste, pollution but also lack of healthy and nutritious food. Changing the way we produce food has become vital to livable cities.
As the CEO of Priva I have travelled the world. I was inspired by customers, city governments, architects, real estate developers and entrepreneurs who are rethinking the way cities should be designed and function. I felt encouraged to see great initiatives in the make that are demonstrating the feasibility of producing healthy and nutritious food in urban areas. It strengthened my believe that we’re not far away from food-producing cities, but I also realized that a catalyst is needed.
That’s why I created the Sustainable Urban Delta Foundation. The foundation will inform, orchestrate and stimulate the best efforts and ideas to build a sustainable future. We will partner with all cities who share our ambition on urban food production.
As for the catalyst needed, the Foundation launched the documentary ‘The City and the Green Belt’, our first film about the subject and is aimed to kick-start the conversation about urban food-producing.
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