Under this research category you can find all theoretical- and field research contributing to the project Urban Corridors. Articles cover as well the biological as social, historical, economical and political aspects of ecological corridors in the city. This page shows the 10 most recent posts that contribute to the topic. For a complete overview of all posts per subtopic, please check the relevant category. The links Urban ArtFarm 2012, 2013 and 2014 display all fieldnotes related to the timeline-development of the Urban ArtFarm since the start.

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More and more people are living in the cities. We have to search for new modes of sustainable living, new ways of food production. Re-examine the link between the city as consumer and the countryside as provider. In this context, we are researching how to make a network of intensively cultivated city rooftopgardens where we can grow our own food for the neighbourhood.
Besides the food-function, the UrbanArtFarm is set up as our open air laboratorium. In this project, … (read more…)

Ecological corridors rely partly on methods of urban agriculture, guerilla gardening, ecological management and social anthropology. Corridors can also make good use of avant-garde technologies, so that such projects become experiments on the edges of art, science and technology: Embedded systems, novel sensors, low energy computing and sensor networks are useful for monitoring soil quality, plant growth processes, animal activity, pollution and the movement and interaction of people within the local environment. … (read more…)

Seed saving is plants moving through time and space. I am drying following herbs and flowers as basic ingredients for herbalist preparations: macerates, creams, tinctures, oils, sirops, …
Rosmarinus officinalis – rosemary; Thymus vulgaris – thyme; Eucalyptus gunnii – eucalyptus; Agastache foeniculum – agastache; Salvia officinalis – sage; Origanum vulgare – oregano; Mentha piperita – peppermint; Hyssopus officinalis – hysop; Satureja montana – savory; Matricaria chamomilla – chamomile; Viola tricolor – heartsease; … (read more…)

Short chain distribution from the rooftop Farm’s harvest, mainly to neighbors and friends: Otber, Toestand project Vilvoorde, Romuald + family, Lucia en Johannes, Radha, Alexandra, Luc, Jan & Christel, harvest dinner Cubans, harvest dinner Axel&Marie, Luc, Jan&Christel, Clémentine, Joeri, Zahra, Jonas Gruzka, Billy, Franziska & Sam, Nathalie Hunter, Daniele Sambo, Radek, Macek, Burning Ice, Eggevoort Water Project (citymined), Nicolas, Katia from den Hague, Els, Billy and Fabrice, Louis Schreel BBQ 10 people, Joannes Vandermeulen, mama, Miet, Els Lingier, Betty Schiel, Luc Steels, … … (read more…)

Or how to spend your free time in summer. The pantry is loaden with the abundance of summer harvest. We are cooking, steaming, drying, freezing, potting and processing roots, fruits and vegetables in all different ways. We dry leaves for tea (fennel/leaves, vanille, liquorice, fennelseeds, bitter orange peel) and for making medicinal recipes.
further reading: how to preserve tomatoes? Preservation of vegetables in oil and vinegar: It is now a relatively common practice to bottle vegetables and herbs and spices in either oil, vinegar or a mixture of both. … (read more…)

We collect the rainwater from the surrounding rooftops to foresee in the water supply of the rooftopgarden. As the rooftopgarden has a limited amount of soil, and because the elements (wind and sun) are stronger high on the rooftops, the soil needs more water than in a ‘natural’ situation. The watermanagement becomes thus very important. It takes up to two hours to water the complete garden manually, with the hose. To save time, we decide to install an automatic wateringsystem, consisting of a microdrip system that is connected to the watertanks and that is controlled by humidity sensors. … (read more…)

The purpose is to gather data on the effects of urban air pollution on urban gardening- and farming crops. Soil can be analyzed and heavy metals in soils can be treated by bioremediation (mushrooms, green manure, nitrogen fixers), but on the effects of city air pollution on crops there is not a lot of information available. How do car exhaust, road dust and acid rain affect the different crops? Is the environmental pollution affect different for leaves, flowers, roots or fruits? Are nuts, fruits and berries less exposed to the urban pollution risks than leaf crops as spinach, or as root crops which do take up and accumulate metals from dust particle deposits in the soil? How might we … (read more…)

Companion planting is the planting of different crops in proximity (in gardening and agriculture), on the theory that they assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increasing crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of polyculture.
Companion planting is used by farmers and gardeners for many reasons. For farmers using an integrated pest management system, increased yield and/or reduction of pesticides is the goal.For gardeners, the combinations of plants also make for a more varied, attractive vegetable garden, as well as allowing more productive use of space. … (read more…)

For the artist, the empty rooftop is a blank canvas. It is embedded in the city and offers a perception without geographical limitations. It’s up to the artist to combine the artistic eye with scientific observation. The public has to travel to the location and has to put effort and time (= engagement) to discover the artwork.
New forms of sculpting the public space can be found in rooftop hacking and squatting, transforming rooftops into urban fields, short chain agriculture. These are interdisciplinary activities situated between art and the broader … (read more…)

Ecosystems include living organisms, the dead organic matter produced by them, the abiotic environment within which the organisms live and exchange elements (soils, water, atmosphere), and the interactions between these components. Ecosystems embody the concept that living organisms continually interact with each other and with the environment to produce complex systems with emergent properties, such that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and “everything is connected”. … (read more…)

During a few sunny spring weekends we work with a bunch of friends to install the farm on the parking rooftop Dansaert2, and to bring the farm to its full capacity: 44 containers of 125cm x 125cm. The containers are palox europallets, recycled from small fruit&vegetable companies. They are made of hard oad wood. We customize the containers on different heights, suitable for growing herbs, greens, roots and small trees.
The construction workers next doors help us to bring up soil and other materials with their crane. When the basic outline is nearly ready and the hardest work is done, … (read more…)

We connect local OpenGreens in an international network of experimental gardens where artists work with natural processes.
These gardening situations serve especially to look into microsociological and ecological systems related to time as starting points for the development of new artistic practices. The OpenGreens allow us to study the implementation of contemporary art in an ecological context and to observe and draw content from eco-data and natural patterns and processes.
Using media technology and electronics as research tools in these shared laboratories, data from various ecosystems are collected over a period of time. … (read more…)

I discovered that the location of the 2 rooftopgradens has a rich history, tracing back to 1235, when the convent of the ‘White Sisters’ was established. In 1456 Philip the Good integrated the White Sisters in the cloister of Jericho. The address was on the Oude Graanmarkt, right around my corner, and their land had a surface of 4 hectares. They had vegetable gardens and orchards and even their own brewery. It is great to know that we can add another layer on top of this wonderful history. … (read more…)

Each different crop will be grown in a wooden palox box of 125×125. With 1m3 (1 cubic meter) of soil we can fill up 4 to 5 boxes with a layer between 12 and 30 cm of bio-soil, mixed with compost or ecoveen (along the needs of the plants). At dewinter groencompost, we ordered in januari 2012: 6 x 1m3 teelaarde + 2 x 1m3 edelcompost + 1 x fijne groencompost + 1 x ecoveen.
In februari 2012 we put a complementary order of: 12 x 1m3 teelaarde (from which 5m3 will be prepared in 10 bigbags … (read more…)

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Einstein

December 2011 I made the first designs for the creation of an Urban ArtFarm.
The Urban ArtFarm (2012) is an extension of the existing edible rooftop garden (2009). The 2 intensive rooftopgardens are situated on top of adjacent parking lots and are physically connected. The edible rooftop garden is specialised in mediterrean and medicinal plants, herbs and flowers – all with an important nectar/pollen value. … (read more…)

Sustainable gardening: design, construction, operations and maintenance practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This can be reached by attempting to protect, restore and enhance the ability of landscapes to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans and other organisms.
Checklist: local climate regulation; air and water cleansing; water supply and regulation … (read more…)

Can the creation of a rooftop garden be considered as an artproject?
I will formulate an aswer on this question later.
More and more people are living in the cities. We have to search for new modes of sustainable living, new ways of food production. Re-examine the link between the city as consumer and the countryside as provider. In this context, we are researching how to make a network of intensively cultivated city rooftopgardens where we can grow food for the neighbourhood. … (read more…)

A forest garden is a garden modelled on a natural woodland. It has 3 layers of vegetation: trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. In an edible forest garden the tree layer contains fruit and nut trees, the shrub layer soft fruit and nut bushes, and the ground layer perennial vegetables and herbs. The soil is not dug and annual vegetables are not normally included unless they can reproduce by self-seeding. It is usually a very diverse garden, containing a wide variety of edible plants. … (read more…)

The Open Green project blends organic and technological matter into one and the same nature. Through analogue and digital means we do long term observations on the growth, blossoming and decay of plants and insects submitted to natural elements such as wind, sun, rain and pollution in an urban context.
We monitor and extract data from natural processes both on a micro garden level as on a macro city level and make the data available online in realtime with open wireless citynetworks. … (read more…)

Wired cities is a project on non-linear storytelling, exploring the city as a balanced and tactile ecological system.
The map of the city is erased and reconstructed from scratch.
How do artists experience a specific city? Edifices, old and new, that are considered landmarks can be reconstructed and arranged along one’s architectural fantasies. Old and new stories weave maps of collective memories. Analog and digital input are mixed. New skylines emerge out of folding architecture. Photographs and movies become new textures. … (read more…)