What is urban agriculture?


Urban agriculture can be defined as the production of food within the city or along the edges of the city. It is characterized by the fact that it uses products and services from the city and then returns to the city. From the city, for the city, so to say.

 

Why urban agriculture?

There are numerous motives for urban agriculture. The high-tech city-planning initiatives are based on sustainable farming; it requires less transport, energy and water and fewer pesticides and medicines and causes less air pollution. The smaller neighborhood initiatives start with a nearby community garden, for example, because it's a means of interacting with friends and neighbors, because you create a very accessible meeting place for the whole neighborhood. Another reason could be that people find it important to show their children where the food that is on our plate comes from and how it grows. Moreover,  you might want to keep control of the production of your own food because you have lost confidence in producers and suppliers. A housing association could set up a neighborhood garden since the interaction between residents increases social cohesion. In short, urban agriculture projects often have many more functions than just the production of food.

 

What does it look like in practice and / or what are examples of companies?

Urban agriculture has many faces such as neighborhood gardens, bee farming, health gardens, generation gardens, commercial and non-commercial gardens, amateur gardens, allotments, windowsill gardens, balcony gardens, vertical urban agriculture in and on buildings such as rooftop gardens.

You can also think of vertical farming inside vacant buildings, edible greenery in the office or restaurant, foraging for food in the wild and the production of food at home. Even social initiatives that organize food activities could be part of urban agriculture.

 

Who are the main initiators?

Mostly citizens, start up (social) entrepreneurs, but also housing association

 

For further reading (in Dutch):

https://www.groeneruimte.nl/dossiers/stadslandbouw/

https://www.agriholland.nl/dossiers/stadslandbouw/

 

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