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The purpose of urban food production in developed countries

Caputo, Silvio (2012) The purpose of urban food production in developed countries. In: Viljoen, Andre M and Wiskerke, Johannes SC, eds. Sustainable Food Planning: evolving theory and practice. Wageningen Academic, Netherlands. ISBN 978-90-8686-187-3. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:72380)

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Food security is now on the UK government agenda. The perspective of fossil fuel scarcity limiting movements of supply, and recent food price rises constitute a warning sign of the unsustainability of current global food systems. UK Government has produced a series of papers on food production, in which food security, food access, and a more environmentally safe food chain are indicated as important objectives. Urban agriculture is not part of the possible strategies mentioned, which aim at diversifying supply sources, foster healthy and affordable food consumption, and reduce emissions. Given the massive carbon footprint of cities, food production in an urban context ought to be considered as a contributor to a low carbon society, as it can deliver crops with zero food miles, possibly accessible to low income groups. However, for this to happen, urban agriculture needs to become economically viable. Research is needed to establish modalities for highly productive food grown in cities, and in particular, business models based on a network of small and medium sized cultivated spaces, which utilise local urban resources (water, compost, sun). This paper makes the case for a new role for urban agriculture in developed countries, which is centred not only on environmental and social benefits, but also on economic opportunities. It does so by reviewing the national definition of food security, the role that non-profit organisations play in promoting urban agricultural practices, and the business model on which they are based.

Item Type: Book section
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Signature Themes: Food Systems, Natural Resources and Environment
Depositing User: Silvio Caputo
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2020 11:13 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:26 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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