Urban Agroecology: Principles and potential

Miguel A Altieri, Clara I. Nicholls, Paul Rogé and Joshua Arnold

In: Urban Agriculture Magazine no 33 - Urban Agroecology, p.18-20 (2017)

In light of climate change, failures in industrial agriculture, increased energy costs and demographic pressure, and as multinational corporations increase their control of the food system, a significant rise in food prices, if not food shortages can be expected. This situation is compounded by the fact that by 2030, 60% of the world’s urban population will live in cities, including 56% of the world’s poor and 20% of the undernourished. Today, for a city with 10 million people or more, over 6,000 tonnes of food has to be imported every day, traveling an average of 1,000 miles. Given these scenarios, urban agriculture (UA) is becoming a major sustainable alternative for food security on an urbanised planet. Urban production of fresh fruits, vegetables, and some animal products, near consumers, improves local food security, especially in underserved communities. By improving access to fresh, nutritious food, UA can help in combating childhood obesity, diabetes, and poor nutrition that are prevalent in many urban communities. This article looks at this world-wide issue, providing findings from crop research and illustrations taken mainly from North America.

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