VBAZO is a park-like area in the public space of Amsterdam Zuidoost’s K-district. VBAZO is a green infrastructure that protects the K-district from the negative effects of urban heat island and drought, lack of access to sources of free, locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables, and rapidly decreasing biodiversity.

A food forest is the oldest form of agriculture (> 60,000 years) traditionally applied all over the world including Europe. Urban food forests in public spaces have been implemented in the Netherlands by the Urbaniahoeve Foundation since 2010 (Foodscape Schilderswijk).

VBAZO connects more than 70 locals, of all ages and backgrounds from Amsterdam Zuidoost’s K-district. VBAZO offers the opportunity to participate as citizens in shaping your environment in an ecological way. You can also meet neighbors by picking organic and free foods together, such as fruits, flowers, edible wild plants, nuts and more. This activity makes the neighborhood safer, creates a feeling of ownership amongst residents, and this helps increase social cohesion. In this way, locals can also learn about nature, plants, the living soil, insects, birds, and small mammals, and how they depend on each other in our own ‘backyard’.

Increasing biodiversity in an urban environment through the addition of a more varied range of plants, allows for more meadow flowers — whose seeds are already present in the ground requires a less intensive management form known as ‘phased mowing’. Phased mowing allows for more insects — the food of songbirds — the food of birds of prey — who also eat mice and rats. VBAZO also connects other Amsterdam green zones, such as Bijlmerweide, Brasa park, Gaasperpark and Bijlmerpark (now Nelson Mandela park), allowing small mammals such as hedgehogs to move in a reasonably safe manner from one place to another, and providing food and habitat.

Amsterdam’s City Works Department and their contractors take care of the heavy work of VBAZO: carrying out the phased mowing, tree maintenance etc… Involved locals harvest and plant, and observe where there is too much or too little of something, where there are dangerous plants or too many saplings. Everyone is welcome: from young to old, from athlete to disabled. Contact us at info@urbaniahoeve.nl or visit the VBAZO facebook page.


VBAZO vision, initiative and management, infrastructure activism:
Debra Solomon and Renate Nollen, Urbaniahoeve Foundation

Bureau Chief Science Officer Municipality of Amsterdam:
Caroline Nevejan, Ida de Freijtas, Bernadette van Hillege

VBAZO project process management:
Annoesjka Nienhuis, Judith van Iddekinge, Yurhan Kwee

Amsterdam Dept. of Public Works:
Tim Blokker, Antine Snijder, Ruud Stuurman, Dannel Seraus, Henk van Hilst, Cor Schuilenburg, Willem Bodeke, Catrinus Mak, Marcel Scharphuis

Amsterdam Municipal Ecologist, Amsterdam Zuidoost:
Geert Timmermans

District Amsterdam Zuidoost:
Eddy Addusei (borough area manager and initial VBAZO project commissioner) and Vanessa Leider, Sam Franklin (green projects)

Debra Solomon, Johannes Schwarz, Juan Arturo García, Patricia de Ruijter and Renate Nollen

VBAZO Community of Praxis:
Agartha Frimpong, Akosua Pokua, Annemarie Pello, Annet van Hoorn, Annette van Blijen- burgh, Arieke Duizer, Barbara Vis, Christine (Koornhorst), Cintha de Leeuw, Claudia Peters, Corine Bakker, David Tsofnas, Debra Solomon, Eduard Hernandez-Nualart, Farzana, Eline Polling, Elise Groothuis,Engelien Yukoo, Farzana, Floor Liefrink, Glenda, Gloria Pinacore, Heidi Atmopawiro, Helena Agyeman, Jorge Elias, Josephine van Kessel, Josephine vd Boogaard, Joyce Groenberg, Johora/Doortje, Joyce Zwenniker, Karin Koole, Kriti Toshniwal Bos, Krijn Fletterman, Leo Haegens, Letitia, Lieke Zieghorn, Lucinda Draaibas, Lydia Gyamfi, Lydia Seedorf, Mahmoud Mohammed, Margriet, Mariken de Goede, Mark Bos, Marleen Lefebvre, Marthe Hiev Hamidi, Miranda Ki, Mirjam Hoogeveen, Majd Al-Sabie, Marie Chevalier, Michael Osawe, Mireille Seedorf, Myrthe van Mierlo, Nienke de Gooijer, Nora van Arkel, Norman Naarden, Oma Fiedje, Patience Addo, Pieter Glas, Renate Nollen, Richard de Gooijer, Rob Alberts, Robert Bulthuis, Robertico Thomasa, Sarina Orna, Sergio Simons, Toby Jones, Toseef Saleem, Una Ross, Virginia, Rianne, Yolanda, Loes, Marina, Ingrid, Patricia, Nona, Marcel, and an ever growing group of new people.

Venice Architecture Biennial 2021:
Juan Arturo García, Johannes Schwarz, Max Lipsey, Laura Pappa and Robert Milne, Ruben Borges, Meeuws Ontwwerpt, Maia Kenney, Thijs de Zeeuw, David Habets, So Young Han, Jane da Mosta, WeAreHereVenice, Francien van Westrenen and Ellen Zoete, Afaina de Jong, Caroline Nevejan, Maria Kaika and Tait Mandler