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Steps to scale up urban agriculture outlined in new framework

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A recent paper published in Nature Food explores the advantages and disadvantages of industrial agriculture and proposes a framework for its expansion, particularly in urban areas. With urban populations expected to increase significantly by 2050, there is growing concern about the resilience of metropolitan regions reliant on imported food.

Urban agriculture offers the potential to decentralize food supplies, benefit the environment, and reduce import costs while ensuring the availability of nutrient-rich foods. However, challenges such as limited space in overpopulated cities and susceptibility to wildlife damage must be addressed to scale up this form of agriculture.

Despite these challenges, diversifying the food supply is crucial for food security, especially in the face of climate change. Urban agriculture can play a critical role in ensuring resilience, particularly for cities vulnerable to extreme weather events like Miami.

The proposed framework for urban agriculture growth involves three interconnected phases: increasing interest, knowledge, and access to resources; institutionalization through policy and organizational support; and economic and market growth to support and diversify industrial food production.

While urban agriculture offers climate advantages, addressing climate, health, and equity issues is essential for its sustainable expansion. Moreover, maintaining connections between urban and rural areas remains crucial for global food security and consumption.

Urban Agriculture: Enhancing Resilience and Food Security in the Face of Climate Change

A group of experts have examined the advantages and disadvantages of industrial agriculture in a recent paper and provided an outline for expanding it.

By 2050, it is anticipated that more than two-thirds of the world’s population will reside in metropolitan areas. But, these regions’ large reliance on imported food may jeopardize their resilience.

Potential urban areas ‘ sustainability and resilience may be strengthened by an increase in urban agriculture.

A group of experts have suggested a framework to increase agriculture in cities in an article that was just published in Nature Food.

Advantages and disadvantages of industrial agriculture

Urban agriculture has the ability to decentralize food supplies and can benefit the environment by creating wildlife habitats and reducing the size of economic footprints.

The demand for locally produced goods rises as a result of this type of agriculture, which lowers import costs. Like all forms of agriculture, it makes sure that food with a high nutrient value is always available.

But, there are issues with this kind of agriculture that must be resolved before it can be scaled up. For instance, the majority of the big cities are overpopulated and have no room to produce food.

Additionally, the crops that can be grown are vulnerable to wildlife damage, which inevitably lowers crop production on the land.

Despite the drawbacks, diversifying the food supply is crucial to ensuring security due to the expanding population and difficulties brought on by climate change. As climate change becomes more and more difficult for several communities, this type of agriculture may be a crucial way to guarantee food security.

We need to take into account all the tools in the toolbox for sustainability and resilience under climate change, according to study co-author Chloe Wardropper, assistant professor at the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

For cities like Miami, whose imports could be quickly cut out by extreme weather, urban agriculture may be especially crucial.

Navigating the Future of Urban Agriculture: A Framework for Climate Resilience and Equit

Urban agriculture has some climate advantages, but there are still concerns about the best way to expand it. Before policy recommendations can be put into practice, researchers must also consider which climate, health, and equity issues need to be addressed.

“We propose a framework of three connected phases to better understand and shape urban agriculture growth in the future,” said Wardropper.

Expanding people’s interest in, knowledge of, and access to resources to practice agriculture in industrial areas would be the first stage of growth. Institutionalization, or the change of regulations and organizational support for industrial agriculture, should come after this phase. Third, industrial food would be supported and diversified more and more as a result of economic and market growth.

But, connections between urban and rural areas will continue to be crucial for food security and consumption worldwide.

Verónica Castro-Allende

With a rich background in urban technology and IoT, Veronica brings a unique blend of expertise and innovation to our platform. Her work focuses on integrating advanced engineering solutions into smart city infrastructures, emphasizing sustainable and efficient urban development. Her insightful contributions shed light on the future of urban living, blending technical prowess with practical urban applications

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