Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Wirtschaftsgeographie

Study Project 2020

April to October 2020


The interdisciplinary and international study project 2020 of EAGER Trans-Net was under the theme „Urban Agriculture in Berlin and Dar es Salaam“. It was the very first study project of EAGER Trans-Net held online. This new format brought some changes but was as enriching and fruitful to everyone involved as past classroom study projects of EAGER Trans-Net.


The study project of summer semester 2020 brought together a group of 13 students from different countries (Germany, Tanzania, Kenya and Indonesia), different disciplines (Physical and Human Geography, Social Sciences, Historical Urban Studies, Environmental Engineering and Computer Science) and different universities (Ardhi University, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and University of Nairobi).


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An urban agriculture project in Berlin, Germany (photo: Zipf)


During the online seminar sessions (April to July), the participants together critically explored and discussed different aspects of urban agriculture and investigated the urban agriculture of different cities such as Berlin, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Mexico City, Havana, Barcelona or M'bour in the Senegal. Moreover, they also brought in and shared their own experiences and knowledge. Many great insights were gained, too, through expert talks from the four EAGER Trans-Net members Dr. Jacob Kihila (Ardhi, Institute of Human Settlement Studies), Dr. Makau Kitata (UoN, Literature), Dr. John Busienei (UoN, Agricultural Economics) and Prof. Wambua (UoN, Geography). From these lecturers, the participants were able to learn about water management and reuse, the politics and sustainability of urban agriculture, value chains and post-harvest losses as well as the impacts of Covid-19 in Kenya.  


In the framework of the study project, the students developed exciting and cutting-edge research projects of their own choice. Using different research methods (e.g. literature review, interviews, observations, GIS analysis), the students successfully studied topics such as prison gardens, community agriculture, permaculture gardening, allotment gardens, agricultural practices of slum dwellers in Nairobi, motivation of urban gardeners or the importance of global learning in urban agriculture. Many students were able to engage and collaborate with different stakeholders in their research projects. The findings and results of these projects were shared with the stakeholder groups. Thus, the EAGER Trans-Net study project 2020 will surely leave a lasting and positive impact on various urban agriculture projects.


4.1 Women in Dar 2016  Tea farming Karatina

Women gutting fish in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, (left) and tea farming in Karatina, Kenya (right)(photo: Zipf)


The EAGER Trans-Net study projected 2020 was headed by Birgit Zipf (HU Berlin, Geography) and supported by the HU bologna.lab. Influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the original plans to have a classroom seminar with personal encounters and many excursions in Berlin and Dar es Salaam were changed to an online seminar.


The next study project of EAGER Trans-Net will pick up on the success of this study project by focussing on "Urban Agriculture in Nairobi". It is planned for winter semester 2020/2021. Further information can be found here.