Monika Jäggi, Geographin

This is a short version of my German language website.

On this page you will find more detailed information about the topic of urban agriculture and my professional writing and speaking engagements regarding "Stadtgärtnern" (bottom of page).

For information about my other interests please refer to Themen, for my latest presentations, public apparearances and writing projects go to ProjekteThere you will find pictures and articles, some are also written in English.


Monika Jäggi is a Geographer by training and a published book author. She lives and works in Basel, Switzerland and in downtown Toronto, Canada as an independent environmental consultant and science journalist.

She is the author of scientific papers and popular science articles and books for non-scientific audiences. She completed reports and articles on topics such as indigenous peoples, water and land rights, consequences of desertification, ecotourism, urban planning and neighbourhood development, sustainability and globalization and the environment and international trade agreements in countries such as Switzerland, Tunisia, Kyrgyzstan, Canada and Zimbabwe. Currently her research focus is on urban agriculture as a tool for sustainable city development.

Monika Jäggi has obtained numerous stipends and prizes, advised local and national governments and appeared in interviews and debates in radio and the print media. She is a journalist writing about consequences of human activities on the environment and vice versa from a deep base of scientific knowledge, research location and the ability to interact with people from widely varying backgrounds and cultures.

She has worked with international and national corporations, governments, NGOs, universities and museums.

She graduated from the University of Basel with a Ph.D. in Geography in 1993. In addition to Geography, her studies encompassed also Anthropology and Zoology. Studies in Science Journalism at The Swiss School of Journalism in Lucerne, Switzerland (MAZ) and several internships at major Swiss Medias completed her science journalist training.

Before starting out on her own she was a Research & Teaching Assistant at the Department of Geography in Basel, Switzerland  (1989-1993). From 1994-1997 she was a Visiting Researcher at  York University in Toronto  (Department of Geography).


  • Cities: Urban Agriculture & City Planing, Gentrification, Neighbourhoods
  • Tourism Development: Natural Resources, Socioeconomic Effects
  • Indigenous Peoples: Water and Land Rights
  • Forestry: Aboriginal & Community  Forestry, Forestry Policy
  • Water : Privatization, Resource Conflicts, Water Management
  • Desert: Arid Regions & Desertification Processes, Oases
  • Environment & Global Trade: The WTO Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)


  • Research, (Case)-Studies
  • Communication – Science Articles, Journalistic Articles, Books
  • Editing & Rewriting of Papers
  • Presentations, Workshops, Panels


  • Universities
  • Museums
  • NGO's
  • Media
  • Private Sector

Languages German, English, French, Italian

International Work Experience

  • Switzerland
  • Canada, USA
  • Tunisia, Oman
  • Zimbabwe
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Norway

Professional Membership

  • Women Experts on the Environment (WEE), Switzerland
  • Impressum – The Swiss Journalists
  • Swiss Association of Science Journalism

Contact Information

Monika Jäggi, Ph.D.

Environmental Communication  & Science Journalism
Gerbergasse 30 (Labor 3)
4001 Basel Switzerland

Cell: +1 41 76 547 52 12


Urban Agriculture:  Media- and Research Platform

Communication, Consultation, Evaluation, Strategies, Guided Tours

Agriculture in Swiss cities? What are we talking about? How about fruit trees or community gardens in city parks? What about guerilla gardening? About frontyards full of herbs and flowers instead of concrete or laurel “weed”? Urban Agriculture is a new movement in Swiss cities. Some argue it is a short lived trend. The movement stands for a world wide movement, which conquers public urban space for gardening and planting in an often funny, creative and unconventional way. Swiss City folks usually combine the notion of city gardening with the well-known traditional allotment gardens. They have been part of urban neighbourhoods in European cities for a long time and have become a familiar sight. However, these individually used garden lots are strictly confined to a fenced-in area. Urban agriculture on the contrary is not restricted to a limited space.

Temporary hype or part of sustainable city planning? Urban agriculture is a complex issue. It is certainly more than getting one’s hands dirty. Urban food production should be understood in a political, ecological and city planning context. Producing food in the city is not a contradiction it is a complementary notion. Yet discussions around topics such as urban food production and food security are not very common yet in Switzerland. The potential of urban agriculture and its contribution to sustainable city planning is also lagging behind in the political discussion. Urban food production is seen as a hype coming from overseas. Urban agriculture is only welcomed either as a temporary use of public space or as an artistic installation. This is also contrary to the perception of urban food production which is more prominent in cities like Toronto, London or Berlin.

Food Strategies – Food Policy Councils Food strategies are often at the heart of urban food production. The strategies have become an integral part of city planning and are implemented by food policy councils. Seen in connection with the increasing urbanization and the global food production- and resource crisis, it will probably only be a matter of time before the topic will be looked at more seriously in Switzerland. Even in the French-speaking part of Switzerland cities such as Lausanne or Geneva are much more inclined to include urban agriculture in long-term city planning than its German speaking counter-parts.

Would you like to know more? As a trained geographer, a science journalist and an urban gardener, I have long been involved in urban agriculture projects in Canada and more recently in Switzerland. In Switzerland I am writing about the newly founded urban agriculture movement, the founding members and their gardening projects. I am analyzing the urban food movement in its global context while I am also looking at the political, economic, ecological and city planning context.

Recent (for more see Projekte)

  • Megatrend Selbstversorgung: Was bringen Urban Farming & Urban Gardening der Umwelt & Gesellschaft?  Panel Participation, D4 Buisness Village Luzern, 23.3.2017
  • Travelling through Space and Time with a Click: Introducing, an Internet based environmental tool for Switzerland’s Greater Basel Area (GBA). Presentation at World Urban Parks/ Institute of Environment and Recreation Management World Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, Sept. 26th 2016.  
  • Toronto – The City of Neighbourhoods: Stadtentwicklung durch Immigration. Guest Lecturer: Pädagogische Fachhochschule Luzern 9.12.2016
  • A Peek Over the Fence: Urban Agriculture as an Instrument of Social and Environmental Policy: A Case Study from Toronto. in: Environmental Policy is Social Policy – Social Policy is Environmental Policy. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainability in Policy and Other Fields”. Ed: Isidor Wallimann. Springer New York, 2013
  • Urban Agriculture as an Instrument of Sustainable City Planning: A Case Study from Toronto, Canada. Presented at the 48th International Federation of Landscape Architects IFLA World Congress 2011, Zürich. Topic: From Urban Landscapes to Alpine Gardens, June 27-29th, 2011
  • Urban Agriculture in Basel and in Toronto, Canada: Urban Agriculture as a Tool for Urban Planing? for Bioterra Basel (13.12.2010).
  • Two Different Approaches in Tourism Development in the Swiss Alps: Big Scale Investors Tourism Resort in Andermatt versus Small Scale Local  Approaches in Obergoms. Presentation & Field Trip for tourism experts from Kyrgyztan & Tatschikistan. The PALM – Pamir Alai Land Management – Project. Dr. Heino Meessen, Center for Development and Environment (CDE), Bern University  (14.10.2010)

Research Field Trips

  • Canada, Toronto: yearly visits for updates on urban agriculture policy, food strategy, visits to community gardens and other gardening projects, updates on all things to do with urban agriculture in the city and beyond. Participation at Food Policy Council meetings. (2014/2015/2016)
  • Canada, Vancouver: Food Strategies 7/8 2013
  • Canada, Toronto: Green Roofs 6-7/2012
  • Canada, Toronto: Food Security, Toronto Food Strategy, Toronto Food Policy Council, 7-9/2011
  • Tunisia (Douz-Kebili-Tozeur- Nefta): The Nefzaoua Oases in Southern Tunisia – Ecological and Socioeconomic Transformation, July 2010
  • Oman (Muscat – Sohar – Al Ain – Nizwa – Salalah – Muscat): Coastal Tourism Development (The Wave Resort, Blue City), Privatization Strategy Oman, Water Shortage & Desalination Plants, Traditional Water Distribution for Oases, Botanical Garden Muscat, Environment & Sustainability Issues, April 2009