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Urban farming in empty office building

Published: 31 May 2013 Modified: 30 August 2013

The Municipality of The Hague is looking for enthusiastic people to realise an urban farming initiative in a partially empty office building on the Televisiestraat.

The municipality is offering 3,000 square metres of space in the building De Schilde for the cultivation of vegetables and/or other food-related products. 

The idea behind the project is that these products will also be sold in the building. A combination of a number of functions is possible, for example a retail shop, restaurant or café, and educational classes. The ground floor of the building has 200 square metres available for retail business or catering establishment (including a terrace).

To encourage suitable entrepreneurs to submit a good plan, the municipality has designed a competition. An independent jury will then decide which applicants can carry out their plans in De Schilde. The municipality is offering entrepreneurs an attractive rental price, advice and support in the area of PR and marketing.

First city in the Netherlands

The Hague is the first city in the Netherlands to make urban farming possible in this way. The concept was created and developed together with Deloitte, CropEye, the Chamber of Commerce and Wageningen University.

The partners say that commercial urban farming is feasible: an increasing number of office buildings are empty and the demand for sustainably produced food is on the rise. Urban farming is growing in popularity all over the world. Rooftops and vacant lots are getting a second lease on life because owners and area residents would like to grow food in their own vegetable gardens.

Chance of success

Some 11% of The Hague’s office buildings are currently vacant. At the same time only 40% of the Dutch know how a tomato grows. The Municipality of The Hague believes that urban farming has a chance of success.

Information about the competition, the selection criteria and the conditions can be found at
www.stadslandbouwdenhaag.nl.

De Schilde on the Televisiestraat, where urban farming will take place. Photo: STROOM Den Haag

De Schilde on the Televisiestraat, where urban farming will take place. Photo: STROOM Den Haag

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