Land to people, who (want to) work it!


Vienna: Students, activists and landless people began with the creation of a solidarity urban agriculture

Since the 17th of April, the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle, around 100 students, activists and landless people occupy the former trial garden of the university of life science in Vienna-Jedlersdorf.

"At this site fertile agricultural land is supposed to be sealed because of housing projects. At the same time 80.000 flats and 30 % of the office-buildings in Vienna are empty. Instead of buildings we need space for social projects and local, urban and solidarity agriculture.", says Martin, a student at the university of life sciences and activist.



The initiative SoliLa (Solidarische Landiwrtschaft, solidarity agriculture), criticize that in times of peak oil and peak soil it seems absurd to build on fertile agricultural land. Various studies, conducted by the university of life science conclude exactly this. The SoliLa will produce healthy and sustainable food out of a local and solidarity agriculture. The numerous participants work the land together in a sustainable way since the 17. April. They invite everyone, especially the neighbours to participate.


"A social-ecological change with justice to the whole society is necessary and that is why we started this initiative in Vienna. We want to realize a solidarity agriculture which gives an answer to the social and ecological crisis" tells us one of the gardeners.


In Vienna alone 2.420.000 m² of green area have been sealed since 1997 and this process is gaining momentum! Most of the area was actually agricultural land. In Austria every day 15 hectares of agricultural land are being destroyed by building and traffic infrastructure. A big part of this land is unusable for agriculture for the next centuries. At the same time fodder and food is imported from all over the world which fuels conflicts about resources all over the world. Thats why we perceive ourself as a part of a global movement, which calls attention at the 17th of April with actions and protests.


The university of life science already abandoned the field and is in the process of devolving the land to the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) who wants to construct on the site. A landless gardener criticizes: "It is unfair, when the BIG simply starts constructing on this site. The fertile land is a common good. Since the BIG is at least partially a public company a democratic process needs to decide upon the use of this land. All the neighbours, users and initiatives have not been included in the plans so far. We will work together for our common goal of realizing a solidarity agriculture project in this area."


SoliLa has that for published a declaration of support, where all people are called upon signing the declaration.


"The fact that university of life science calls itself "the university of life" and supports the construction is hard to understand for me. But we wont let the build upon our future!" says Linda, a landless person from Vienna.



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