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Accepted Paper:

Multispecies resource mapping in the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest  

Author:

Debra Solomon (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

At a transitional point in the access to Amsterdam's public space greens, this contribution illustrates the tensions between the mapping practices of the municipality and citizen experts vying for stewardship in the development of the public space as multispecies food forest commons.

Paper long abstract:

Since September 2018, the Amsterdam Zuidoost Food Forest community of practice (VBAZO-CoP or CoP) engages in mapping practices to develop, document and communicate their project. These differ from the mapping practices used by municipal maintenance and infrastructure departments in that they aim to foster citizen expertise in the stewardship of public greens as multispecies food forest commons. Yet even the most visually evocative maps and practices developed by the CoP are seen as legible and/or usable by the municipal administrators and process managers responsible for mowing and maintenance schedules. The CoP, whose concerns are focussed on multispecies resource availability and climate crisis mitigation, sees gaps in the municipality's mapping and that lead to ecosystem resource destruction. Might the weekly monitoring of the CoP's planting interventions better serve the municipality as maintenance maps? Might maps of nectar resources better guide mowing practices? Might maps of pollinator habitats better clarify the maintenance of the waterscapes? Might the CoP's soil-sample archive better chart the levels of soil organic matter and thus better serve the community's climate crisis mitigation goals? With regard to providing insight into the human food resources of the developing food forest, might the CoP's foraging practices better clarify leafy greens and fruit availability in Amsterdam's poorest food-resourced neighbourhood? At a transitional point in the access to Amsterdam's public space greens, this contribution illustrates the tensions between the mapping practices of municipality and citizen experts vying for stewardship in the development of the public space as multispecies food forest commons.

Panel MA01a
Mapping the Edible City: Making visible communities and food spaces in the city