Is it feasible to source all the food a city needs from its surroundings? The quick answer is no. And two recent academic papers demonstrate it while setting out a methodology that any urban region can use to assess its existing level of food self-sufficiency and the way this would evolve under different policy options.
Urban agriculture is fashionable in developed countries and its boasts a rather positive image of community development. But how do these promises hold? In order to answer the question, researchers from Portland State University and the University of Michigan carried out a review of existing evidence in the United States and Canada.
When cities try to relocalise food production, they should keep in mind that it is not only the number of hectares of land that is relocalised that counts. They also need to take into account the quality of that land. More widely, they need to familiarize themselves more with the farming sector in order to provide suitable conditions for farms to come back close to the cities.
Why every city should care about the impact of global urbanisation on cropland
What if households started growing half of the vegetables they need in their home gardens? What impacts would it have on climate change?
Urban and peri-urban agriculture can be very diverse. What are the main differences? How should we account for them in food policies?
If urban farms are to be maintained or even developed further, they will need to be economically viable in the long run.