Scaling out access to land for urban agriculture. Governance hybridities in the Brussels-Capital Region

This paper unravels the key governance tensions stemming from the scaling out and up of the access to land for urban agriculture. A hybrid governance approach - showcasing interrelated organizational, resource and institutional governance tensions - is used to shed light on: (a) the ways actors mobilize and build networks to address the land-resource governance; (b) the ways these actors experience and attempt to tackle diverse land-resource constraints; (c) the institutional responses to the land question and the challenges to address the land-resource governance at higher spatial-institutional scales. The hybrid governance approach is used to analyze an empirical case study – the Boeren Bruxsel Paysans (BBP) coalition – a network of actors aiming to implement urban agriculture and enhance local food networks in the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR). The analysis of the BBP’s case clearly shows that scaling out the access and use of land for urban agriculture represents a sensitive and contentious governance issue not only at the local, but also at the Regional and at wider spatial-institutional scales. Learning from the hybrid governance analysis, this paper highlights valuable directions for a more sustainable governance of the land-resource. These directions include: a) building reflexivity in the mode of operating of relevant institutions and jurisdictions; b) improving connectivity among diverse spatial-institutional scales; c) sustaining cross-organizational and cross-jurisdictional cooperation.

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