The City & Agriculture: Reconciliation or Dissociation?


This year, the 11th Louis Bonduelle Conference will take place on 12 June, in a partnership with the UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems. Many experts will gather to discuss the theme of “Urban Agriculture”. Save the date!

Farming was pushed out of the cities and into the countryside as urbanisation and industrialisation picked up speed, but now city-dwellers are rediscovering it. Whether in vegetable gardens, urban farms or community gardens, agriculture is gradually returning to the urban landscape and the surrounding area. Even the smallest nooks and crannies or vacant land can become a green patch, existing in perfect harmony with built-up spaces. There are many different farming practices that take different forms including soilless agriculture such as hydroponics.
The possibilities in the city are endless!

Demographic change: a challenge for agriculture

Whereas urban farming has become a leisure activity for many city dwellers, it also a crucial tool for coping with population growth in cities.

In 2008, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities reported that the more than half of the world’s population were living in towns and cities for the first time. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s estimates, the urban population will account for 70% of the world’s population by 2050.

This demographic change has consequences for the distribution of food demands. Supplying food to these cities may prove too much of a challenge for the current agricultural model, given the increasing urban population and dwindling resources.

Many experts have already confirmed their presence

How can urban dwellers regain control of their food supply in such a context? And how can vegetable gardens contribute to this food supply? How has agriculture, which is essentially a rural activity, returned to the city?

The 11th Louis Bonduelle Conference will try to answer these and many other questions on Tuesday 12 June 2018 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. This year, the conference theme is: “The City & Agriculture: Reconciliation or Dissociation?

Various experts will meet with Christophe Bonduelle, the President of the Louis Bonduelle Foundation, and Nicolas Bricas, Director of the UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems to discuss the status quo and share their expertise and good practices for urban farming.

They include:

  • Florent Quellier, Historian
  • Joëlle Zask, Philosopher
  • Antoine Jacobsohn,                            Manager of the “Royal Vegetable Garden”
  • Christine Aubry, Agronomist
  • Nicole Darmon, Nutritionist
  • Julie Le Gall, Geographer

The Louis Bonduelle 2018 Research Award will also be presented to a student for their research during the conference.

Find out more about urban farming: