Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL): Essential infrastructure and edible ornament

Andre Viljoen, Katrin Bohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper defines Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL) as a strategy for the coherent integration of urban agriculture into urban space planning. The case is made for considering urban agriculture as an essential element of sustainable infrastructure. Recent and historic arguments are used to support the qualitative and quantifiable advantages of introducing urban agriculture into contemporary open urban space design. The body of the paper focuses on design issues related to the placing and perception of CPUL and urban agriculture. It draws on primary research undertaken in Cuba, considering Cuba as a laboratory for design research into urban agriculture. Design studies by the authors are used to demonstrate the viability and physical manifestation of urban agriculture within a Continuous Productive Urban Landscape. The paper proposes that, while an environmental and design case can be made for the integration of urban agriculture, planners and designers need to explore the public perception of productive landscape if its full potential is to be realized. The idea that urban agriculture can be read as “ornament” is discussed with reference to the writing of British artist Tom Phillips. Contemporary cultural/artistic practice is referred to as a means for exploring and communicating ideas related to productive urban landscapes. The paper concludes with new research findings related to the public perception of open urban space based on the Havana CPUL design research project “Finding Parque Lenin”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalOpen House International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) and Open House International, 2009


  • Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs)
  • Sustainable City
  • Ecological Footprint
  • Landscape
  • Productive Landscape
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Urban Design
  • Planning
  • Architecture


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