Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Foodscape Schilderswijk,
Den Haag’s CPUF

September 8, 2009

Inspiration collage showing potential for abundant use of fruit trees and berry bushes. Collage by Jacques Abelman, Foodscape Schilderswijk by Debra Solomon, Studio Culiblog
A scenario for planting espallier-style fruit trees in the Schilderswijk. Illustration by Jacques Abelman.

As part of STROOM Den Haag’s (Centre for Art and Architecture) multi-year programme FOODPRINT, I have been commissioned to design a foodscape. Actually I am designing a Continuous Productive Urban Foodscape, or CPUF, a spinoff acronym based on colleagues Bohn & Viljoen Architect’s CPUL, in which the ‘L’ word is landscape. Foodscape Schilderswijk explores the potential for integrating urban agriculture (UA) into existing social and green infrastructure in this Den Haag burrough. Unique to this project is an aesthetic, permaculture approach to cultivation design utilizing vertical and interstitial spaces as a place where fruit and vegetables can be grown, and befitting the overall design of the public domain. Most importantly I am collaborating with existing social infrastructure such as schools, community centres, and other municipal agencies. The local partners will be powerful agents in the design process.

A hand drawn map of the Schilderswijk, showing plans by project authors and suggestions by visitors to the FOODPRINT exhibition, Summer 2009, Debra Solomon,
A hand drawn chalkboard map of the Schilderswijk burrough. Jacques and I used permanent markers, exhibition visitors filled in suggestions to the planning in chalk.

The project presupposes local commitment to knitting UA and adjacent infrastructures both social and green into one coherent plan. This means implementing a spatially contiguous scenario into which primarily existing facilities, activities, programming, and platforms for (food-related) cultural content are connected to diverse forms of edible landscape architecture. Baby Bakeries, DIY Oven Museums made by school children, Roti Lounges for the so-called ‘idle youth’ or maybe even their mums, and Free Kitchens are just as much a part of the Foodscape as Herb Lawns, Salade Façades, Espalier fruit fences and Pumpkin Tunnels.

Inspiration collage showing potential for de-paving and an abundant use of herbal groundcovers. Collage by Jacques Abelman, for Foodscape Schilderswijk by Debra Solomon, Studio Culiblog
An over-the-top-scenario for planting an herbal groundcover in a de-paved pedestrian zone. Illustration by Jacques Abelman.

Once implemented these components will connect the Schilderswijk’s dots of green and brown, and include stainless steel, cast iron and community initiatives as part of the Foodscape plan. This project is currently ending its research phase and entering the ‘let’s see which local partners want to get married’-phase. With the help of these partners, I hope to complete the initial design in November 2009.

Detail of Schilderswijk chalkboard map showing a proposed espallier fruit orchard in the Westenbergstraat garden, Debra Solomon,
Map detail of the ‘first marriage’, an espallier-style fruit orchard in a collective garden.

debra at 20:21 | | post to


  1. Wow !!! This is great. There is no place for wasted space in a city and this is the best use . A low maintenance garden and edible.

    Comment by Jeff Pool — September 13, 2009 @ 20:32

  2. Hi Debra,

    great idea to use the chalk board with permanent markers, makes it really beautiful and clear. I hope we will do some work with the group in this place.


    Comment by Pascal — December 15, 2009 @ 22:53

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