Urban Agriculture and Climate Change

As cities expand, so do the food needs of urban families. The situation of the urban poor is precarious in the present context of volatile food prices and the financial, fuel and economic crises. The urban poor, often located in the most vulnerable parts of cities and lacking the capacity to adapt to climate-related impacts, will be hit hardest.  The challenges  associated with supporting the urban poor demand urgent and adequate responses from city and national authorities and international organisations. Urban policies need to incorporate food security considerations and focus more on building cities that are more resilient to crises. There is growing recognition of (intra- and peri-) urban agriculture as an important strategy for climate change adaptation and mitigation, to a lesser extent. Metropolitan, municipal and other local government institutions can play a proactive and coordinating role in enhancing urban food security and cities resilience by:

  • Integrating urban food security/ UPA into climate change adaptation and disaster management strategies​
  • Maintaining and managing agriculture projects as part of the urban and peri-urban green infrastructure
  • Identifying open urban spaces prone to floods and landslides and protecting or developing these as permanent UPA/multi-functional areas
  • Integrating UPA into comprehensive city water(shed) management plans
  • Including UPA in social housing and slum upgrading programmes
  • Developing a municipal urban agriculture and food security policy and programme

For an extensive introduction to the topic please go to the State of the Art. This paper explores the potential contributions of various forms of urban agriculture and forestry to city climate change mitigation and adaptation plans and the need to include food security considerations into urban climate change strategies. Various 

Go to RUAF publications for RUAF publications on this topic (most of which are available online). You may also view the articles in the Urban Agriculture Magazine on this topic or use the Search option.