Leveraging Urban Agriculture to Support Cities

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Peter Feghali)

Cities, which occupy just 3 percent of the Earth’s land, account for up to 80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions

By 2050, nearly 70 percent of the global population is expected to live in urban areas, which experts warn will drive greater environmental change and contribute to the triple planetary crisis. To address the issues associated with rapid urbanization, governments must act decisively to build resilient and sustainable cities.

Safeguarding urban food security while limiting stress on human and environmental health is a key challenge cities face – and urban agriculture may be one of the solutions needed.

Reusing urban resources and promoting agriculture in cities provides myriad health, social and economic benefits. It can also alleviate the effects of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, according to a recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report

Growing food closer to consumers reduces carbon emissions associated with delivery and storage, increases accessibility to healthier diets and promotes resilience in food systems.

With strong institutional governance, cities can embrace circularity in food systems and beyond to safeguard human and environmental health.

Source: UNEP