future agricultural landscape

From large-scale livestock farming to future-proof alternatives.



Vision exercise for ecological and landscape valuable agriculture.

The municipality of Ravels (Belgium) has been undergoing a worrying transformation of its traditional agricultural landscape, an open space with fields and meadows, into a growing number of industrialized farm complexes for some time now. The establishment of large livestock farms not only brought with it more ecological pressure, but also a lot of nuisance for residents and visitors. In addition to odor nuisance, we could clearly speak of visual nuisance due to the low aesthetic value of these farm buildings (industrial stables) as well as a lack of qualitative buffering (e.g. by green areas). First we helped the local government to clearly formulate the problem by asking critical questions. Afterwards, we looked together for policy instruments to buffer the negative impact and, where possible, to put a halt to it. Finally, we formulated some proposals on how a local government can also kickstart a positive landscape transformation. For example, the local government itself dreamed of an analogy with fruit and blossom regions where tourism is attracted by the particular landscape quality. However, when we considered the local sandy soil, where water layers replenish quickly, we also looked at vegetable cultivation as a viable alternative.