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Abstract
In recent years, challenges such as climate change adaptation and dealing with the biodiversity crisis have drawn the attention of the urbanised society on the importance of soil stewardship. We believe agroecological farmers and food growers could play an important role, as the care for living soils is a fundamental principle in agroecology. However, current urbanisation dynamics deeply affect this potential. In the context of the food disabling city (Tornaghi, 2017), living soils are actively destroyed, and soil care is not mandatory, not common, nor structurally valued or supported. To overcome this deadlock, we need to (re)value the metabolic agency of agroecological practices within dynamics of urbanisation. In this paper, we examine to what extent soil care is embedded in the regulation of land use and soil use in Flanders (Belgium). We use an agroecological farmers perspective to think beyond the residual embedding of soil care, and to begin to re-politicise the soil issue. We develop a critique of the post-political nature of existing policies and recent attempts to put the soil issue back on the agenda. Our analysis shows that the attention for soil care in the regulation of land and soil use in Flanders is limited, fragmented and not coherent. We conclude that urbanism and food planning can play an important role in enabling soil care, but this will require active engagement in the re-politicisation of soils. We make the case that such politicising work could start by giving a voice to agroecological farmers and food growers within soil policy arenas.
Keywords
Agroecological urbanism, Food-disabling city, Land use, Living soils, Soil care, Soil policy, Urban agroecology

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MLA
Vandermaelen, Hans, et al. “Embedding Agroecology’s Soil Care Principle in the Urbanised Society: The Case of Flanders.” Agroecological Transitions Confronting Climate Breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings, edited by Marian Simón Rojo, Editorial Universidad de Granada, 2019, pp. 205–09.
APA
Vandermaelen, H., Dehaene, M., Tornaghi, C., & Vanempten, E. (2019). Embedding agroecology’s soil care principle in the urbanised society: the case of Flanders. In M. Simón Rojo (Ed.), Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings (pp. 205–209). Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada.
Chicago author-date
Vandermaelen, Hans, Michiel Dehaene, Chiara Tornaghi, and Elke Vanempten. 2019. “Embedding Agroecology’s Soil Care Principle in the Urbanised Society: The Case of Flanders.” In Agroecological Transitions Confronting Climate Breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings, edited by Marian Simón Rojo, 205–9. Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vandermaelen, Hans, Michiel Dehaene, Chiara Tornaghi, and Elke Vanempten. 2019. “Embedding Agroecology’s Soil Care Principle in the Urbanised Society: The Case of Flanders.” In Agroecological Transitions Confronting Climate Breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings, ed by. Marian Simón Rojo, 205–209. Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada.
Vancouver
1.
Vandermaelen H, Dehaene M, Tornaghi C, Vanempten E. Embedding agroecology’s soil care principle in the urbanised society: the case of Flanders. In: Simón Rojo M, editor. Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings. Granada: Editorial Universidad de Granada; 2019. p. 205–9.
IEEE
[1]
H. Vandermaelen, M. Dehaene, C. Tornaghi, and E. Vanempten, “Embedding agroecology’s soil care principle in the urbanised society: the case of Flanders,” in Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings, Madrid, Spain, 2019, pp. 205–209.
@inproceedings{8667087,
  abstract     = {In recent years, challenges such as climate change adaptation and dealing with the biodiversity crisis have drawn the attention of the urbanised society on the importance of soil stewardship. We believe agroecological farmers and food growers could play an important role, as the care for living soils is a fundamental principle in agroecology. However, current urbanisation dynamics deeply affect this potential. In the context of the food disabling city (Tornaghi, 2017), living soils are actively destroyed, and soil care is not mandatory, not common, nor structurally valued or supported. To overcome this deadlock, we need to (re)value the metabolic agency of agroecological practices within dynamics of urbanisation. In this paper, we examine to what extent soil care is embedded in the regulation of land use and soil use in Flanders (Belgium). We use an agroecological farmers perspective to think beyond the residual embedding of soil care, and to begin to re-politicise the soil issue. We develop a critique of the post-political nature of existing policies and recent attempts to put the soil issue back on the agenda. Our analysis shows that the attention for soil care in the regulation of land and soil use in Flanders is limited, fragmented and not coherent. We conclude that urbanism and food planning can play an important role in enabling soil care, but this will require active engagement in the re-politicisation of soils. We make the case that such politicising work could start by giving a voice to agroecological farmers and food growers within soil policy arenas.},
  author       = {Vandermaelen, Hans and Dehaene, Michiel and Tornaghi, Chiara and Vanempten, Elke},
  booktitle    = {Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown, 9th International Annual Conference of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group, Book of Proceedings},
  editor       = {Simón Rojo, Marian},
  isbn         = {9788433865335},
  keywords     = {Agroecological urbanism,Food-disabling city,Land use,Living soils,Soil care,Soil policy,Urban agroecology},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Madrid, Spain},
  pages        = {205--209},
  publisher    = {Editorial Universidad de Granada},
  title        = {Embedding agroecology’s soil care principle in the urbanised society: the case of Flanders},
  url          = {https://aesopsfp.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/aesop-sfp_bookofproceedings01-1.pdf},
  year         = {2019},
}