Project

Despite occupying only 2% of the land area, cities are responsible for the 67% of energy consumption (World Energy Outlook 2008) and 70% of waste generation [1], contributing to generate 75% of global greenhouse gases emissions (GHGs), according to UNEP. Furthermore, cities have a strong external dependence and need to import resources such as water, materials for infrastructures, energy or food.

About 75% of the EU population lives in cities and it is estimated that this value will reach the 80% in 2020 [2]. At the same time, buildings consume the 40% of energy in Europe (Directive 2010/31 / EU) and have been identified as a priority area for reducing energy consumption in the EU zone, being heating and cooling systems the main responsible of household energy consumption (47%, According IDEA).

Agrifood production zones are not usually located near the vicinity of towns. Consequently, food distribution results in a life cycle stage with a high environmental impact associated from food consumption in cities.

Following the distribution of food turns out to be a stage with high potential to reduce the environmental impact of food consumption in cities.

In response to the current situation, in recent years, has been an increase of projects to promote the introduction of agricultural production in cities [3]. Currently, urban agriculture has become a way of land use in cities like Chicago [4] as an alternative for urban plots unbuilt [5]. Urban agriculture is currently growing in cities with different shapes and occupying different areas: community gardens, urban gardens, commercial farms and institutional farms, as in the case of New York [6]. Moreover, urban agriculture is also being integrated into buildings through integrated farming [7], the Vertical Farming Concept [8] and Rooftop Greenhouses.

 

[1] UN-HABITAT (2010) Urban World: A new chapter in urban development. 2(2): 6
[2] European Commission (2010) Making our cities attractive and sustainable - How the EU contributes to improving the urban environment. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxemburg
[3] Mok HF, Williamson V, Grove JR, Burry K, Barker SF, Hamilton AJ (2013) Strawberry fields forever? Urban agriculture in developed countries: A review. Agron Sustain Dev (online) DOI 10.1007/s13593-013-0156-7
[4] Taylor JR, Taylor S (2012) Mapping public and private spaces of urban agriculture in Chicago through the analysis of high-resolution aerial images in Google Earth, Landsc Urban Plan, 108(1):57-70
[5] McClintock N, Cooper J, Khandeshi S (2013) Assessing the potential contribution of vacant land to urban vegetable production and consumption in Oakland, California, Landsc Urban Plan, 111: 46-58
[6] Chou J (2012) Five Borough Farm: Seeding the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York City, Design Trust Director of Programs, New York
[7] Komisar J, Nasr J, Gorgolewski M (2009) Designing for food and agriculture : recent explorations at Ryerson university, Open House Int, 34(2):61-70
[8] Despommier D (2010) The vertical farm: controlled environment agriculture carried out in tall buildings would create greater food safety and security for large urban populations. J Consum Prot Food Saf 6(2): 233-236
 
 
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