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  • Boeletuin Amsterdam: Urban gardening, Social Practices and Everyday Urbanism.

    Course: LUP-80436 (Msc Thesis Land Use Planning) Credits: 36

    Student: Ioana-Cristina Musat Number: 881010592020 Supervisor: prof. dr. AJJ (Arnold) van der Valk Second Reviewer: dr. IM (Marleen) Buizer Wageningen University Land Use Planning Address: Postbus 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

    https://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Persons/Marleen-dr.-IM-Marleen-Buizer.htm

  • Msc thesis | Ioana-Cristina Musat Supervisor: prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk

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    Abstract While spatial planners have traditionally focused on the aesthetic and the physical functionality of their

    designs, offering less attention to the social context when dealing with social priority issues (e.g. climate

    change, food safety and public green spaces) may result in the planned urban spaces being underused

    and undervalued. Climate change, food safety, green public space and public health are issues which

    broadly fall under the umbrella of sustainable food planning, a rapidly growing domain of spatial planning

    research. Analysis of social practices holds a key in understanding why and how these issues exist, as well

    as opportunities for the improvement of urban quality of life. Urban gardening practices raise awareness

    about these issues and influence the everyday life of garden members. In the same time citizen-led

    gardening practices have the ability to create quality urban places and therefore hold key insights for

    spatial planning. Gardeners benevolently offer time and labor resources to design and maintain urban

    gardens. This not only has positive effects for their own personal quality of life, but also for the spatial

    quality of the urban area itself and reduces resource inputs for design and maintenance that may

    normally be borne by the municipality. This study offers a sample of the flourishing urban gardening

    scene in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It focuses on a garden case and thoroughly dismantles it by using

    the theoretical lens of social practice theory and the everyday urbanism approach. Although this study is

    focused on gardening practices, the analysis of any everyday practice with beneficial effects on urban

    quality of life plays a valuable role in implementing a corresponding design. The design will fit the profile

    of the place better, ensuring long lasting spatial quality, minimal maintenance from the municipality and

    the support of local actors.

    Keywords: sustainable food planning, urban garden, social practices, everyday urbanism, spatial planning practice, the Netherlands.

  • Msc thesis | Ioana-Cristina Musat Supervisor: prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk

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    Table of Contents 1. Introduction & Research Design............................................................................................ 4

    Content overview and outline of the thesis ........................................................................................... 5

    World view of the researcher ................................................................................................................. 7

    Research design ...................................................................................................................................... 7

    2. Theoretical Framework and Methodology ............................................................................ 12

    Social practice theory ............................................................................................................................ 13

    Everyday urbanism ................................................................................................................................ 20

    Connecting social practice theory with everyday urbanism ................................................................. 28

    Methodology ......................................................................................................................................... 30

    3. The Boeletuin Garden: a Diverse Mix of Practices. ............................................................... 39

    Context of the Boeletuin garden. ....................................................................................................... 40

    Results of the six guideline-based analysis. .......................................................................................... 45

    Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 59

    4. Garden Sub-Cases at the Boeletuin: Different Meanings, Different Designs. ......................... 65

    Community permaculture garden: Zuidmoes ..................................................................................... 67

    Garden of the individual plots .............................................................................................................. 75

    Community research garden The Green Living Lab ............................................................................ 83

    Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 90

    5. Context of the Spatial Planning Practice ............................................................................... 95

    Spatial planning practice in everyday urbanism. .................................................................................. 96

    The role of the spatial planner in everyday urbanism. ......................................................................... 98

    Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................... 100

    6. Recommendations ............................................................................................................. 102

    General recommendations for the spatial planning of urban gardening ........................................... 103

    Specific recommendation for the spatial planning of the Boeletuin garden .................................... 104

    Recommendations for the spatial planner ......................................................................................... 109

    7. Conclusion ......................................................................................................................... 110

    8. References ......................................................................................................................... 113

  • Msc thesis | Ioana-Cristina Musat Supervisor: prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk

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    1. Introduction & Research Design

  • Msc thesis | Ioana-Cristina Musat Supervisor: prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk

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    This thesis presents the results of the qualitative research conducted in an urban garden, the Boeletuin, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The purpose of this single case-study is the understanding of the relationship between existing gardening practices and the spatial dimension, thereby exploring if there are valuable insights for spatial planning. The underlying aim is to contribute to a spatial planning approach that incorporates existing practices in spatial planning analysis and design. The research intends to shed light on how everyday practices of the people involved shape the physical space they operate in. The study of the urban garden was made in autumn of 2015, over a period of two months.

    Content overview and outline of the thesis

    The theoretical framework of this thesis is centered around everyday social practices and their effect on

    the spatial dimension. It provides the guidelines for the analysis of the gardening practices. The analysis

    generated insights about the specific practice characteristics which led to the garden becoming an

    attractive, vital place, contributing to the urban quality of life. These insights are valuable for spatial

    planning because: the urban gardening practices are sources of awareness on social priority issues (e.g.

    food sustainability), create quality urban places, increase the quality of life, minimize resource input from

    the municipality and are critical sources of example for the urban planning of similar areas. For the

    continuity and the development of the gardening practices to be assured, support must be mutual,

    planners need to properly include gardening practices which create quality urban places in visions and

    zoning plans. Figure 1 illustrates the rationale used in the development of this study, as well as the core

    content of this thesis.

    Figure 1. Core content of the thesis. Made by the author.

  • Msc thesis | Ioana-Cristina Musat Supervisor: prof. dr. Arnold van der Valk

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    The content of the thesis is structured in 7 chapters (figure 2). The first chapter introduces the theme,

    the purpose of the research and the research design. The main theme is the exploratory research of

    social practices and their connection to the spatial dimension in an urban garden case, for the purpose

    of gaining insights for the spatial planning practice. The broader aim is the promotion of social practice

    based analysis and design in spatial planning. The qualitative research is based on a single case study, the

    Boeletuin garden in Amsterdam.

    Theoretical framework and methodology are elaborated in the second chapter. The theoretical

    framework is composed of: social pr