Urban farming solves lack of agriculture space

 5 minute read

When talking about sustainable living and[nbsp]urbanization, urban farming takes an important role. Farming evolves to the next level in urban environments and the lack of space for agriculture in urban areas is an issue which needs solving.

Can we farm as
much as we eat?

Federico Martellozzo conducted a research analysing how much food could actually be produced in urban areas and the space needed to meet urban vegetable demand. According to the study, 11 countries do not have enough urban area to satisfy the actual vegetable consumption of their urban population, whereas 22 countries need to set aside less than 10% of their urban area to do so.

Innovative technologies
come to help

The world’s first low carbon, hydraulic driven vertical farm Sky Greens, invented in Singapore, is an innovative and green space solution for urban agriculture. Mr Jack Ng, the founder of Sky Greens, has shown that organic growing in land-scarce megalopoleis is possible with high-rise vertical farming, as a result achieving significant higher yields per unit area of land.

Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura invented a sustainable and environment-friendly green house of the future. With hydroponic technology, the Mirai Company’s indoor farms use LED lights to grow vitamin-rich green vegetables up to three times faster than outdoor farms. And on top of that impressive efficiency, controlling the temperature, humidity and irrigation has significantly cut down water usage – to just one percent of outdoor levels. So-called “Green Room” can be installed literally anywhere and used as home growing station or as a city farm.

Insight box

EcoCity imply reduction of CO2 emissions with farms located in or next to the city. Urban agriculture contributes to lower green house effect, cuts down the logistic[nbsp]costs, provides working places and[nbsp]counters[nbsp]the unpleasant heat effect in cities.

Cuba succeeds to satisfy
90% of food supply

Many cities and countries implement the idea of urban agriculture not only for food supply reasons. New sustainable living culture is based on the idea of self-reliant food economy. Eco-farms located close to the cities influence on CO2 emission reduction. Another benefit of urban farming is that it adds greenery to cities, reducing harmful runoff, increasing shading, and countering the unpleasant heat effect in cities. Cuba applied innovative approach to the development of urban farming in its capital Havana. In interest of solving huge food supply problem such as food shortages, lack of fuel for distribution and even high unemployment rates encouraged government to develop urban organic farming. Nowadays, 90% of Havana’s fresh produce comes from local urban farms and gardens employ[nbsp]more than 200,000 Cubans in the expanding urban agriculture sector.

When it comes to sustainability
Amsterdam has a lot more
to be proud of besides[nbsp]bicycles

To continue on urban farming in capitals, Amsterdam has been developing urban agriculture since 1991. Numbers of projects aiming to reduce CO2 emissions through restructuring food logistics are in the process. Namely, using city’s on-water location electric boats to deliver food from one destination to another. Besides water transport,[nbsp]electric trucks, bicycle transportation service and solar powered vehicles were designed in order to reduce carbon footprint while[nbsp]shipping the products. Organic waste material delivered to GreenMill produces “green electricity” and biogas supplies for alternative transport. In addition, educating[nbsp]and increasing awareness of young population for urban farming takes place in school gardens. Roughly 95% of all 10 years old pupils take care of their school garden with vegetables, fruits and herbs. Amsterdam amounts 37 allotment parks and about 6500 allotment gardens, one beekeeping site, 22 community and up to 7000 school gardens, also floating one on the Amstel river.

World popularize home gardening
not only in communities

Finally, there are people doing home farming for pleasure and entrepreneurs turning small gardens into successful and profitable businesses. The popularization of grow-your-own-food movement is inspired from different sources. High-rated cooking shows together with celebrities’ 100-mile diets, bring the attention to freshly harvested vegetables. “Naked cook” Jamie Oliver presents a variety of fresh herbs’ aromas or taste of just dug young potatoes, provoking people to start their own organic garden in the yard, balcony or even windowsill. Another example is Hell’s Kitchen urban rooftop plant in New York. 370 square meters roof was transformed to a yield of 52 plastic kiddie pools with different vegetables and herbs and works as an educational centre at the same time. New generation of eco cities have[nbsp]own farming centers involving citizens to take part in growing process and offer spaces to organize own gardens.


“Cuban Ministry of Agriculture”, Cubaagriculture.com, retrieved 1 April 2013

Urban Agriculture in Amsterdam, Peter de Lange, 2011

Urban agriculture: a global analysis of the space constraint to meet urban vegetable demand, F Martellozzo et al 2014 Environ. Res. Lett.

#agriculture #Co2 #foodsupply #land #urbanisation
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About the category

In 2007 global urban population exceeded global rural. This means that over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and is responsible for over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the growth of population most of the world is going to be build or rebuild in nearest two decades.

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