Urban agriculture: Another way to feed cities
This magazine (PDF) by the Veolia Institute shines a light on the renaissance of (peri-)urban agriculture, its changing forms and technologies, its potential and limitations by a mixture of cross-disciplinary studies and reports from the field, from emering as well as developed economies. Urban and peri-urban agriculture will never produce enough but could make the difference locally in the event of a farming sector crisis. Urban agriculture is more about helping to feed citizens differently: a sustainable model to quality produce distributed via short circuits, bringing producers and consumers closer to each other. This issue is divided into three sections: First it sets out the background for the rise of urban agriculture in developed and emerging economies. After a look at the historical background, it then examines a few of the key issues raised by urban agriculture: ability to improve food autonomy, ties between city and territory, the role this new form of agriculture can play in combating the climate emergency, and the role of policymaking in its development in cities. Section two identifies different types of urban agriculture, seeking to highlight the various myths and realities that surround the subject. The aim is to show the potential offered by each type of technology and what can be expected of each form of agriculture in terms of productivity, environmental impacts and revitalization of the social fabric. The third section analyses successful programs and examines the cases of cities like Singapore, which have employed urban agriculture as a major lever for development. This final section also sets out to explain the obstacles and to pinpoint factors that might allow urban agriculture models to operate on a larger scale.