Cargonomia Community Cargobike and Local Food Distribution Center Cargonomia
Since 2015, Budapest-based Cargonomia has acted as a sustainable urban transport centre and local organic food distribution point through its cargo-bike messenger service, bicycle-building cooperative, family-scale organic vegetable farm, organic bakery, wine distributor and network of citizen volunteers.
The cooperative assists in supplying more than 3,000 organic food boxes per year, with messengers cycling nearly 18,000 km while servicing a 27 km2 section of the city annually. This directly reduces the environmental impact of food production and distribution that at a global level accounts for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions and an alarming amount of food waste.
Cargonomia operates from a hub that serves as the messenger dispatch centre; food box pickup point; do-it-yourself repair workshop for bicycles, clothing and electronics; and logistics centre for sustainable urban transport solutions where community members can borrow locally manufactured cargo-bikes.
Cargonomia aims to contribute to youth education by reinforcing the importance of hands on education in the fields of organic gardening and bicycle competency, and promotes its potential by organizing workshops with volunteer instructors. Cargonomia provides support to the budding urban gardening and agroforesty movement in Budapest by hosting events in partner garden locations and through the establishment of their first agroforestry test site in 2018 in Budapest.
In 2018 they formally launched a community cargobike sharing network with their own resources. At the moment 11 cargobicycles, trailers, dog and child carriers are available to borrow ,hosted at 4 locations in the city. They have also launched an urban edible agroforestry project in cooperation with the Zuglo municipality in the city, where they have begun planting edible fruit trees, berries, aromatics and bee friendly flowers in a formerly abandoned illegal parking site in the district.
“This is a very hands-on and practical initiative that connects food and mobility, and – more importantly – links between urban and rural challenges. Particularly that last aspect is a crucial contribution in today’s increasing divide between urban and rural communities. Moreover, the case displays a strong awareness of the political context and has explicit strategies to engage with that and bridge between local grassroots initiatives and local government. The initiative comes across as quite grounded and realistic.
– Flor Avelino