The Dutch region Gelderse Vallei en Eemland, also called Food Valley, is an area in transition. The developments in agricultural sector are an important driving force behind this transition. Agricultural activities, both intensive livestock farming as well as more multifunctional farms, traditionally dominate the landscape. Currently the region is witnessing further intensification of the sector, which less, but bigger farms, as well as a diversification of land use activities, linking agriculture to recreation, tourism and health. Furthermore nature conservation and urban development are claiming more space.

The foundation SVGV, together with many public and private organisations, faces the challenge to deal with all the competing claims and to find new opportunities to to link the ambitions of different stakeholders, tackle environmental issues, and improve the spatial quality of the area.

The production and consumption of food, largely related to the agricultural production, but also including a multitude of other initiatives in the rural as well as urban parts of the region, provides a platform where many stakeholders meet. Most of these stakeholders aim to improve the production and consumption of healthy and sustainable food. They are looking for innovative concepts and strategies that can be used to realise these aims.

Because of the strong spatial dimension of all the aims and the ambition to improve the landscape, the spatial quality of the area, the SVGV has asked the help of students Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning. In the coming weeks the students will elaborate on the challenges that the stakeholders in the area face and advice them about interesting landscape concepts and planning strategies that can be used.

This project is part of the knowledge workplace, a initiative in which education and practice are linked in order to stimulate joined learning. The Land Use Planning Group is an active participant, through education and research.