The OLGA project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Urban-Rural-Plus Directive. In addition to the topic of sustainable land use and regional value creation, there are also projects on spatial and settlement development, regional material cycles, etc. within this funding framework. Once a year, the entire Stadt-Land-Plus community meets for a status conference - this time on 12 and 13 June 2023 in Bamberg. There, a look was taken at the results of the projects of the first funding call of this guideline, which were already launched in 2018 and are now coming to an end.
The event was generally held under the motto of equitable urban-rural relations and asked, among other things, whether the country per se was the loser and the city the winner of all developments. Regional planner and legal scholar Ben Davy gave an interesting keynote on regional (in)justice.
In the thematic cluster "Regional Products", we discussed the results and pilot measures with our colleagues: In the Leipzig region, it quickly became clear that a further refinement step was needed in processing when supplying communal catering with products from the region, because the large company canteens, for example, only take peeled potatoes. There is still a need for optimisation in the value chain. On the basis of the marketing platform for regional products regiothek.de, the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region makes the supply relationships of food producers, processors and end consumers transparent. In a regional context, suggestions for transport bundling are calculated and proposed to the businesses in order to save distances and ultimately CO2.
All funded projects were also called upon to name legal obstacles from their (research) work of the last few years that essentially hinder spatial (urban-rural) developments or make them impossible in the first place. Due to the fact that agricultural land in conurbations is increasingly dwindling due to other uses, it was suggested that these cultivated areas should be legally secured. In addition, climate protection should become a compulsory municipal task in the future and the criterion of "regionality" should be included in public procurement law. After the expert presentations, networking and exchange with the other project actors from administration, science and practice continued in the evening over a drinkable Bamberg beer.
On the second day, we explored the Knoblauchsland, one of the largest contiguous vegetable growing areas (approx. 385 ha in the open and approx. 30 ha under glass) in Bavaria between Nuremberg, Erlangen and Fürth, on one of four excursions on the topic of (urban) agriculture and horticulture. We visited a farm for the production of organic herbs and vegetables and the organic producers' cooperative Franken-Gemüse, which bundles and markets the products of 50 Knoblauchsland farms. All in all, it was a successful event that was superbly organised by the colleagues from the cross-sectional project Stadt-Land-Plus. Many thanks for that!