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city region food system

kassel, germany
an explorative expedition is  an experimental expedition of explorative learning and agile prototype design, aiming to contribute to smart, regenerative city region food systems through science, art, and engaging narratives.

Ktopia’s living lab is the documenta city of Kassel, Germany. The findings are being shared on an EU and international level – hence English as the main language on this website and German in the fields of Kassel…

living lab eXPeriments

What is a „Living Lab/Reallabor“ ?

A living lab (German: Reallabor) is a curious place where interdisciplinary actors experiment under real, participatory conditions, designing and iterating rapid prototypes while learning from practice in the fields.

The lab here begins small, is curious to grow and currently holds a special focus on narratives inspiring participatory exploration within our city region food system.

The Smart Waste Agency

Idea: March 15th 2024
Development start: same day
Launched: May 1st 2024

a smart, sustainable and resilient city region?

How could it look like in a Smart City Kassel, Germany? What´s there here and now ? How do we imagine a possible, nurturing future for many generations ? Who is doing What in the diverse food system of our city region from soil, seed, agriculture, packaging, transportation, communication, preparation, consumption, water and waste ?

In Kassel, Smart City is more than just a technological innovation and pure data collection. It is socially and ecologically conceived – and in such a way that it opens up equal access and development opportunities for all citizens. For a city that is fair to people and oriented towards the common good – today and in the future.

The simplified 4 quadrant model of food systems and educational open source board game in the making outlined in this article with Downloads to try it out


GREAT momentum for innovating and exnovating food systems – local to global

the COP28 Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action, endorsed by over 158 countries in December 2023. The non-binding Declaration emphasizes the transformative potential of agriculture in responding to climate change and ensuring global food security. The signatories commit to integrating agriculture and food systems into their climate action, adopting inclusive policies, securing finance, promoting innovations, and strengthening international trade.,

Diverse people from the global south, north, west and east – diverse in  ethnicity, gender, age – high ranked politicians, non profits, fisherwomen and small scale family farmers, and many more crafted the declaration in endless days and nights. The people on the photo represent a tiny bit of this diversity during it´s closing session. While other topics like Energy and fossils were difficult to agree upon: the need for sustainable and resilient food systems were highly endorsed in consent from the beginning.

The City Region Food Systems Programme

 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with RUAF engages with national and local governments and local food actors to build resilient city region food systems (CRFS). 

It works on strengthening rural-urban linkages by providing assistance in improving the resilience of food systems and livelihoods in a given territory to climate and health risks. The programme works on operationalizing the linkages between Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture), SDG 11 (inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities), SDG 12 (sustainable production and consumption) along with several of the other SDGs.

What is a city region ?

A city region is defined as: “a larger urban centre or conglomeration of smaller urban centres and the surrounding and interspersed peri-urban and rural hinterland”. 

The term ‘city region’ not only refers to megacities and the immediate rural and agricultural areas surrounding them, but also to small and medium-sized towns that link remote small-scale producers and their agricultural value chains to urban center and markets in developing countries. Although contexts differ across cities and regions, urban-rural partnerships and inter-municipal cooperation always extend beyond traditional administrative boundaries. In our approach, we focus on food systems as the functional tie that binds a territory together. 

What is a city region food system ?

A City Region Food System is defined as “all the actors, processes and relationships that are involved in food production, processing, distribution and consumption in a given city region”.

Additionally, city region food systems are connected to many other rural and urban sectors (e.g. food security, economic development, water and waste management, energy, transport, health, climate change, governance and spatial planning, etc.). By taking this into account, economic, social, and environmental sustainability linkages can be acknowledged. 

Q1 2024

eXPlorative eXPerience eXPedition

Time to ask curious questions and start an open journey with a beginners mind. How does our food system composed of so many sub systems look like in our city region today ? Who are the bio-diverse actors in it ? What are the challenges, possibilities and opportunities – the needs and hopes of our citizens and inter-species neighbors ?

In meetups and short agile jams with people, groups and organizations, media clips of this meetings and this website publication we take a look at what´s there and what could be „cooked“ together – for a possible smart, sustainable and resilient city region.

My name is André Boeing (Freelancing Educator @ Urban Grove). I am a father of 2 sons and have been living in the documenta town, Kassel for 9 years now.

I love the eco-social approach into a smart city that we have as a guiding principle in our smart city model community Kassel. As a father and world citizen of this time I am of cause concerned about good, nutritious food for my children, for All and the many generations to come – as have our forebears for many millennia. Food systems seem to be timeless that way besides being a central pillar of a regenerative climate system.

After 21 years as a Digital Designer and Media Educator Cyberhippie and 10 years as a perfomance artist and -Educator in Social Institutions before I´ve moved into Education for Sustainable Development under the Label Urban Grove in 2023 with food systems being my sole focus in 2024+.



a ktopia ?

“I have great faith in optimism as a guiding principle, if only because it offers us the opportunity of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Sir Arthur C. Clarke

While we explore the Here & Now we also imagine possible presents in the future.

The k in ktopia stands for Kassel, Klima (climate), Kulinarik (culinary), Kooperation (cooperation), Kommune (community) and more k´s and c´s we see fit 😉

a ktopia might be a utopia – or be seen as a biotope for a nutricious, re-generative food system for many many generations to come. Since it´s founding, the city of Kassel has lived 835 years so far. If we can look back we could imagine ahead. Imagination inspires and motivates and if all goes well, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So lets dream big and see what can be done.

With Literaturhaus Kassel, Smart Kassel and Futurespace Kassel we´ve launched a writing group and idea for a  smart climate fiction short story challenge during the International Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo, November 2023

One short story written during WriMo illustrating a smart food system in our city region can be listened to here: ( in German)

city region food system
kassel, germany
an explorative expedition