Wageningen University Organizes Second Urban Greenhouse Challenge Contest

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After the success of the first Urban Greenhouse Challenge, Wageningen University & Research organizes the second edition of this cutting-edge, international competition!

In Urban Greenhouse Challenge, multidisciplinary student teams are challenged to bring professional food production (back) into urban neighborhoods integrating social, economic, environmental and technical aspects in one coherent concept. Their design is based on an existing location in one of the world’s major metropoles, different in every edition of the Challenge.

The teams receive all relevant specifications and get an opportunity to collect their own data during the site visit. The Challenge is open to student teams from all around the world, and teams may comprise students from different universities and universities of applied sciences. 

We are looking for an iconic and circular urban ‘greenhouse’ for a city in China that

(1) produces safe and healthy food for the local neighborhood and commercial markets and 

(2) stimulates a healthy lifestyle and interactions with city dwellers.

 We interpret ‘greenhouse’ broadly as a vertical agro-food complex, and include also e.g. vertical farming and integrated growing systems such as aquaponics.

The Challenge entries should integrate food production with social impact: stimulating a healthy lifestyle and interactions with consumers in circular architecture. The entries should be underpinned by a convincing business plan.

The site

The site on which the designs of the urban greenhouse will have to be based is conveniently located in Dongguan, at the heart of the Greater Bay area, which is one of the largest urban areas in the world and THE innovation hub of China. By high-speed train it is just minutes away from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, an exciting location, where urban and rural come together, creating a myriad of opportunities.

The site will be developed by Country Garden Agriculture over the coming years. Country Garden Agriculture, subsidiary of the Chinese real estate company Country Garden Group, is the Urban Greenhouse Challenge Host Partner.

Why join?

Participation in the Challenge presents a unique opportunity to work on something that really matters, and to contribute to a sustainable future while developing extra-curricular skills and knowledge. It is a chance to build a CV, extend one’s network and get noticed on the job market.


The total prize pool is € 15,000+ . The winning concept will provide inspiration for a new development project at the boundaries of a Chinese metropole.


The deadline for registration is 31 October 2019.