New publication "Towards Urban-Rural Partnerships in Poland" available


Read the implementation plans which specify how each ‘region’ participating in the cooperation will work to integrate the lessons learnt from the project into its local / regional or if relevant national policies. ...more ›

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Lead Partner

HafenCity University Hamburg
Urban Planning and Regional Development
Prof. Dr. Jörg Knieling
Andreas Obersteg
Marta Jacuniak-Suda


Project management

REM • Consult
Mareike Korb


Study Visit in Twente, Netherlands (17 June 2014)

Early in the morning a group of more than 30 persons departed from the hotel in Enschede for the tour in Twente region along small enterprises, situated in the rural area but in close connection with the urban market.

The first stop was in a small community of Borne, Zenderen, in the heart of the urban zone. In this area Groene Poort (green gate) there has been a redevelopment of the original monastery estate into a touristic area – in a new tearoom De Karmeliet. Dagmar Essing gave a presentation on the Green Knowledge Portal Twente, including a film. Jan Lohuis, entrepreneur and owner of a local food shop told an inspiring story of his ideas on distribution and the cooperation of several food entrepreneurs on logistics. Anouk Oude Vrielink, student of Saxion University, did a presentation of her study on the distribution of regional products.

The next visit was to Ambt Delden to the farm of Willem Rienks, the farm where he and his partner started their company with pigs living outside (“Buitengewone Varkens”). He described that he makes use of small pieces of land and forest to keep his pigs outside, even in wintertime. It was actually one of the first crowd funding projects in the Netherlands and via this financing system he sells pig meat in boxes to the participant private persons, even in Amsterdam. It is a really successful method for farming and it gives a new interpretation of urban-rural partnerships.


Then the bus took off to the Winery Hof van Twente in Bentelo where a visit was made to the vineyard and the wine cellar and wine could be tasted. A presentation was given by Ilse Visscher, owner of the winery. The lunch was a simple lunch with local products and it was served by special employees, i.e. employees with mental handicaps.

In the afternoon a visit was made to De Forelderij, an urban farm for trout fishing and fruit and vegetables, with a store and a restaurant. In the restaurant the director of the firm (Surplus) Jack ten Haaf explained the way of working and coaching several groups of persons with all kinds of handicaps and creating jobs for these people. The next stop was the University Twente. A special student guide led the bus along the university complex, the campus. This excursion was especially meant for Pleven where a new university campus in an existing building area is planned.

With a short walk we arrived at the care farm De Viermarken, a farm that will be transformed into an urban farm. The director Mieke van Dragt described the farm and the goals of the firm with the organic standards for working. With a special treat of students the farm can discover new markets and the farm is also busy to develop the bigger area of the former estate into an area cooperative, together with several stakeholders.

The next stop was at the cultural-historical and nature museum De Twente Welle. This museum showed the natural, cultural and economic development of the region Twente and from that perspective the vanishing and recovery of the urban-rural relationship was to be seen. Anna Waanders, director of the Regional Bureau of Tourism, explained the importance of good regional food for national and international tourists.

The last stop was in De Lutte at the estate Erve Beverborg. The dinner was a special arrangement, dining with regionally produced food and prepared by a well-known cook on a special location, called “Streektafel” (“regional table”, a bit like the Italian way of a dinner in the countryside).

During the trip it felt like traveling through the countryside, but in reality the urban area was always very nearby.



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