Can We Grow Food on the Green Belt?

Hosted by LSE London and the Department of Geography and Environment

PAR.1.02, Parish Hall


Dr. Alan Mace

Dr. Alan Mace

Associate Professor of Urban Studies, LSE

Jo Wilson

The City Green

Martin Stott

Garden Organic

Paul Miner

Campaign to Protect Rural England


Dr. Nancy Holman

Dr. Nancy Holman

Associate Professor of Urban Planning, LSE

In a session chaired by Dr Nancy Holman (LSE), Alan Mace (LSE), Jo Wilson (the City Green), Paul Miner (CPRE) and Martin Stott (Garden Organic) will be discussing if we can grow food on the Green Belt. 

The primary purpose of the green belt is to maintain openness between settlements. Green belt policy is silent on what we should do with the open land. In the past it was suggested that we ring London with airfields as a way of making sure the land stayed open and that London didn’t expand further. What should we do we do with this open land? Most of it is privately owned so we cannot dictate changes from current use. We can’t force public access and we can’t require that food be grown on green belt. Some green belt land is already farmland, should we seek to work with landowners to make more use of green belt for food growth? How might this work, who would drive such an initiative and who might benefit? We will also consider the relationship between green belt and allotments, a longstanding means to food production for Londoners.  

Our new seminar series London Talks creates a space to exchange knowledge on these changes linking them to LSE’s research. In so doing, we aim to create partnerships with significant London stakeholders and show how research and practice in London link to cities across the world.

This interactive session will bring together professionals, academics and the public around short presentations and a general discussion. 

More on urban farming and on the Green Belt: 

London Assembly (2018) Farming in London's Green Belt. 

London Assembly (2018) Growing Food on the Green Belt. Scoping document for web. 

Mace, A. (2018) The Metropolitan Green Belt ‐ changing an institution. Progress in Planning, 121. pp. 1-28. 

Mace, A., Gordon, I., Scanlon, K., & Blanc, F. (2016) A 21st Century Metropolitan Green Belt. Report.

Mace, A., Mossa, A. & Blanc, F. (2018) The London-Cambridge Corridor. Making more of Green Belt. Report. 


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