We’re regenerating city soil in Singapore

…to restore a shared future. Join us?

The soil regeneration project is a project to seed new social-soil communities in urban centres. Soil is much more social than we think: the similarities between the microscopic community of soil offers a mirror to reflect on the inter-relations we have in our own human social communities.

At the same time, the potential of soil to capture and store carbon in the ground deserves and demands urgent, immediate attention and knowledge formation from citizens globally.

Seeing the fruit of one’s labor translating into nourishment through hands, heart and mind

Walking Workshop: International Visual Methods Conference 2018

An edible garden design by workshop participant Bernadette Toh

There is an inequitable access to food existing in a wealthy city-state like Singapore. In urbanscapes in general, clean fertile soil can be difficult to source.

Unfortunately, it’s more often understood that Singapore’s food system relies on the reliability and security of its supply chains, and less on the fact that it relies on its people’s knowledge about the source of their sustenance.

Soil regeneration would enable Singaporeans across SES, and most especially those who are food insecure, to have the capacity to not just know and appreciate food but also grow their own as well. 

Community Garden at Clementi - taken during a Walking Workshop conducted for the International Visual Methods Conference, 2018

Creating space for sparks of joy, respect and recognition of different culture’s values

Community Garden in the Clementi neighbourhood

taken during a Walking Workshop conducted for the International Visual Methods Conference, 2018

Our Vision is regional:

where we move from importing 90% of our food grown with soil-depleting practices, to importing just under 60% grown by soil-regenerating smallholders, because of a dramatic increase in:

  • access to healthy local soil across socioeconomic groups,
  • local capacities for food growing
  • consumer support for agroecological regional producers

So that by 2050, we can eat from an expanded set of autonomous production spaces where people in Singapore and other urban centres have more access to healthy soils.

And so that by 2030, we’d see:

  • businesses cooperatively buying and supporting neighbouring Southeast Asian organic farms, and Singapore’s agri-food innovation hub becomes known as a leader in sustainable food systems and place-based, regional food economies with finance options that replenish the 8 forms of capital.
  • children walking with parents on the streets, able to identify edible plants from the side of streets and to eat them, because a citizen’s movement has worked to regenerate connecting patches of soil in the city, linking these with the city’s urban reforestation programme. 
  • children from different (income) backgrounds equally able to recognise a native plant, and equally able to take a seedling to plant it in an area near their home–accessible and safe for them to water, care for, and harvest from.
  • the next generation of twenty-year olds intuitively banding together as customers and supporters, to financially and physically support, learn from, and create fair and respectful modes of exchange with selected clusters of local and regional farms with regenerative soil practices.

The Soil Regeneration Project begins in Singapore, showing that urban soil can be regenerated, and regenerating social trust between communities, governments, and businesses. By regenerating the physical condition of urban soil, it also regenerates the value of our non-urban imaginaries.