Photo by: ThanksWork

About the
Urban Greenhouse Challenge

The explosion in urban growth presents opportunities as well as challenges to our environment and our food systems. Many cities start looking for ways to feed themselves sustainably and to create a liveable and healthy environment for urban dwellers. To support these developments and explore the potential of urban farming, Wageningen University & Research organises an Urban Greenhouse Challenge every other year. Will you join us to bring urban farming to the next level?

For whom

BSc, MSc and PhD students at universities or universities of applied sciences worldwide.


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 neighbourhood 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. Check out here the deliverables and criteria.

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 an 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.
Check this video to find out how is it to participate in the Challenge.


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.

More information

Watch this recording of a presentation at the Info-meeting in Wageningen to get a helicopter view of the Challenge