Booklet: Guide to Urban Farming in Berlin & Shanghai

Published April 2018

Between 2016 and 2018 the Urban Farming Incubator Group looked for scalable solutions for urban farming by creating a platform for knowledge exchange between China and Germany. Two teams, based in Shanghai and Berlin, explored ways to help social entrepreneurs achieve social, environmental and economic benefits by creating community gardens.  Among others, the project resulted in a 20-page booklet which you can download on this page.

CITYMAKERS Urban Farming – Incubator Group

The Urban Farming Incubator – Focus Group (UFI) recognizes the potential that urban farms present for ecological, social and educational aspects of urban sustainability. The project team will look to further knowledge generation as well as best-practice action for urban farming and livable city making.


Food and thus food security is a basic need that affects everyone. This has led to the global urban farming movement. The urban Farming incubator is looking for scalable solutions for urban farming by creating a platform for knowledge exchange between China and Germany. Our purpose is to help social entrepreneurs achieve social, environmental, and economic benefits by creating community gardens. UFI’s Shanghai-based and Berlin-based teams support each other. The Shanghai team primarily focuses on creating a prototype and a social business plan while the Berlin team’s main thrusts are information research and creating a manual on how to set up an urban farming garden.


UFI developed a business plan for scaling up community gardening at a Chinese school. We held a workshop on nov. 1, 2017. The initial project proposal was for a roof garden at the Design and Innovation Institute, Tongji University Shanghai. Because there was no information on the roof’s load-bearing capacity, we scratched the first proposal and turned to a roof garden solution at Shixi Primary school. That winter, the school, WeGarden (a Shanghai-based social enterprise dedicated to the promotion of community gardens) and UFi collaborated on building a green school roof garden. Eight prototype wooden planting boxes were set up on the school roof.

The Berlin based group set up a Sino-German Garden Demo in Max-Pflanzen Garden, a community garden on the Max-Planck Gymnasium grounds in Berlin-Mitte. The garden has a total area of 400 m2 and a young, intercultural team of volunteers has been tending it since 2015. They installed cold boxes for planting Chinese and German vegetables there. A special vegetable box was part of the Global Field’s “Cropland Buffet” event: here, they planted all the ingredients necessary for the popular Chinese dish “yuxiangqiezi” (fish-flavored eggplant)!


Berlin Team:

  • WU Yimeng, Designer, founder of Studio Wu 無 (Berlin), Art Director of CITYMAKERS China – Germany
  • GONG Wenye, Landscape architect, M.Sc. TU Berlin
  • Claire (Kelai) Diebel, M.A. Tongji University 2016 in Architecture, Founder of and
  • Cecilia Antoni, Cultural manager, author, filmmaker and expert on cooking with pulses (
  • Maxim Paul, student of horticulture at Humboldt University Berlin

Shanghai Team:

  • Dr. PAN Tao, Founder of Institute of Sustainable Environment and Energy, owner of Ecoland Club Farm
  • Dr. CHENG Yiheng, Adjunct Professor at Tongji University Shanghai at the College of Design & Innovation
  • Dr. Eva Sternfeld, Senior Consultant on China’s urban and rural development, environmental protection and food safety




CITYMAKERS Urban Farming Incubator // Berlin©

Kelai Diebel’s UPFARMING – Productive Urban Farms