Work on the Rijnvliet urban food forest marks the start of the realisation of new neighbourhood

The construction of the urban food forestry development in the new Rijnvliet neighbourhood inUtrechtis under way. Rijnvliet is one of the last areas in Leidsche Rijn still to be developed and will be based on a design by De Zwarte Hond. The new development area is situated relatively close to the centre of Utrecht, directly connected to the A2 and A12 motorways and an HOV lane, a fast bus connection to the centre. Close to Maximapark and Strijkviertelplas, it is an area with great potential where 1,050 homes, a primary school and a number of businesses will be realised.

Rijnvliet is distinct from the other neighbourhoods in Leidsche Rijn due to the large quantity of water and the remarkable approach to the green areas in the plan. These are interlaced with waterways connecting Strijkviertelplas with the Leidsche Rijn, a small river. The public space is designed according to food forestry principals. This food forest will become the neighbourhood’s sustainable network base and, together with local residents, it is being designed by De Zwarte Hond, Felixx and Æ Food Forestry Development.

A food forest is a form of urban agriculture whereby the ecological relations of a natural forest system are applied. Unlike a natural forest, mainly food-producing plants and trees are cultivated, which makes the food forest valuable for people and animals in many ways. On this basis, the former Rijnvliet pasture land will have a splendid new infill whereby the green outdoor space, the natural water, and the food production will connect people with each other and with nature. A connection that is already in progress as the local residents and people from Metaalkathedraal (an ecological, cultural, creative catalyst and autonomous workplace for artists in Utrecht) as initiators, are closely involved in the realisation of the “forest” and therefore also in the new neighbourhood.

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