Recent global changes associated with the neoliberal economy, especially the World Bank structural adjustment programs of the 90’s, have deeply unsettled the everyday life in developing countries. In Senegal, subsistence agriculture is impacted by the reduction of public subsidies and the restructuring of world markets, resulting in food scarceness, poverty and migrations of all sorts. The rapidly expanding informal urbanization at the periphery of cities is another outcome, most often blamed for its huge human, economical and environmental costs. It can also be seen as a new human habitat; a “rurban” habitat where small-scale agriculture and farming, as a traditional livelihood, remains a common phenomenon despite rapid urbanization. However, the conversion of land to housing uses is threatening this agriculture and degrading the environment, although food production and consumption is a main preoccupation of the dwellers. The symbiosis between traditionally rural activities and urban densities typical of this rurban habitat is a challenge for urban design and architecture. My research addressed this issue at the scale of the housing plot, or concession, in Malika, a town located in the rurban belt of Dakar. Since many dwellers grow food and raise animals in their homes, how can architecture support these productive activities in an environmentally sustainable and culturally adapted way? What kind of design and implementation process would lead to a concession model easily adaptable to local conditions and accessible to the poor household? Two hypotheses structured the action research process: 1) the concession, within the context of its neighbourhood, can be seen as a productive ecosystem that optimally recycles water and matter, limits non renewable energy use and provides its inhabitants with a healthy and comfortable environment; 2) a participatory and gradual design and implementation process can ensure a culturally adapted concession form and the inhabitants’ understanding and appropriation of the changes required to the natural and built environment and to their interactions within and with the environment. The Women’s Centre in Malika was deemed a suitable environment for the experimentation. Women were already involved in productive activities, such as growing and transforming edible plants, as well as in educational activities. They were also interested in increasing the productivity of the concession. The facility, well known in the community, could easily become a laboratory for exploring and disseminating good practices in urban agriculture and environmental management. The communication will describe how the participatory process unfolded over a year and a half in four main stages: 1) reflecting on the concession, its built components and its uses and analyzing where activities took place, why and how they interacted with the natural and built environment; 2) defining the changes to be implemented and participating in the design and decision process; 3) learning in action about the construction industry, project management, building techniques, intensive agriculture techniques, etc. 4) getting organized to make the transformed environment work. I will explain why the architectural transformations and devices designed and implemented support a sustainable and profitable domestic agriculture at a domestic scale, improve much needed food supply for families and contribute to a better environment. In conclusion, I will discuss the inhabitants’ capacity to transform concessions into productive ecosystems and other simple and accessible means of improving rurban informal habitats, focusing on the (re) integration of the built environment into an inclusive ecological and social system.