Rural Fringe – Foodscapes and Nature development

Working Group 3: Rural Fringe. Foodscapes and Nature Development

Bratislava team: N.N.; LNI coordinators: Jeroen de Vries, Meryem Atik

The current agricultural system produces mainly for the national and global market and has hardly any connection with the region and local communities. Cross-border agricultural landscapes are important habitats, for example for the Great Bustard (Otis tarda), an endangered species that requires specific agricultural landscape habitats and agro-ecological measures. These existing nature values are threatened.

The future Common Agriculture Policy of the European Union aims to ensure a fair income to farmers, to rebalance the power in the food chain, to act upon climate change action, to preserve landscapes and biodiversity, and to support vibrant rural areas.

Multifunctional local and regional foodscapes can contribute to the integration of traditional and recreational agricultural areas. Agriculture may have an important contribution for accessibility and security of food. It can also favour local economy and social cohesion.

Foodscapes are understood as all those areas that contribute to food production such as arable land and farms, orchards, allotments and vegetable gardens in combination with the social capital they build. Food and its production may help us connect and find shared interests across cultures. Food production could be re-envisioned as a partnership between consumer associations, foundations guiding the overall goals and corporate partnership of farmers. This would provide opportunities for jobs for disadvantaged groups like migrants and refugees. The connection between people and food should be strengthened to attract children to spend time outdoors, rather than in front of a computer screen. The landscape should give people the opportunity to grow their own food for their physical and mental well-being. Multifunctional, inclusive and organic farms can help to protect and develop green corridors consisting of nature reserves, nature development zones and landscape development areas. Therefore foodscapes should be well connected to the networks of recreation and nature protection to trigger mutual benefits.

Study and planning area

This working group will work on the area around Kittsee, Jarovce and Rajka and the habitat area of the great bustard (Parndorfer Platte-Heideboden, Syslovske polia, and Mosonisík).

Bird directive areas south of Bratislava (

Our main questions are:

  • How is the current agricultural system working, what are the main products and crops?
  • How can the agriculture in the area be developed sustainably, to that is fosters nature values and landscape quality?
  • How can we achieve a productive food system? This would consist of several types of agriculture, ranging from agro-ecological production for the general market to local food production (short chain production) and more socially oriented types such as community gardens and urban farms.
  • How would a sustainable food landscape look like in order to provide various ecosystem services, such as fostering biodiversity, creating habitats for indigenous organisms, soil protection and climate mitigation?
  • How can a foodscape support social cohesion and accessibility for all inhabitants?

Planned results:

  • A concept for a multifunctional and sustainable foodscape that fosters the development of biodiversity and improves the habitat of the great bustard.
  • A strategy for a sustainable food system that is based on the aims of the CAP and answers the needs of the local inhabitants and farmers.
  • A sketch of how the landscape could look like and how it might function based on this concept.