Photo-illustration: Pixabay (Kathas_Fotos)

Urban agriculture or urban gardening is a growing global phenomenon. This world trend is increasingly being applied in the countries of the region.

In four countries of the region – North Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Serbia – the urban agriculture project called “Education in urban agriculture for a sustainable future”, financed by the European Commission as part of the Erasmus Plus programme, is being implemented.

The project partner organizations are the Forum for Strategic Research and Documentation from Skopje, Eko Udruga from Zadar as the project leader, the Association for Policymakers from Sofia and the Serbia Organika National Association for the Development of Organic Production. The project will be implemented by late 2024.


Ivana Simić, Secretary General of Serbia Organika, says that the urban agriculture concept is known in the region, but that due to new global challenges such as global urbanization, the need for environmental protection and the current destabilization in food production and transport chains, it has gained even greater importance.

“Small, green plots for growing crops in big cities contribute to mitigating the bad effects of the economic and food crisis,” says Ms Simić, adding that city dwellers enjoy multiple benefits from working in gardens tucked between neighbourhoods and on the outskirts of cities. They no longer play a passive role of exclusively consumers/buyers but become active micro-producers. Produced fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs, are used for their own needs. By tilling the land, they positively impact environmental protection, and by engaging and selling surplus products, they provide additional economic value to household budgets.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Urban agriculture implies that free land is leased, and the area can vary in size – from a few square metres to several hectares. Land users can be individuals or civil communities engaged in agriculture, vegetable growing, horticulture, fruit growing, composting, setting up beehives and organic agricultural production.

By learning and implementing land-to-table agronomic processes, urban dwellers pave a green road through concrete, thus blurring the strict division line between rural and urban. While this impact of urban gardening is undoubtedly significant, we should not forget the social and health aspect engaging urban residents to tend to land plots in cities because planted gardens become places for socializing, developing community and having physical activity.

Urban agriculture is also a way to promote the social inclusion of marginalized, particularly vulnerable social groups. By working together in the urban garden, intergenerational ties are strengthened more easily because fellow citizens of different ages are directed to each other. At the same time, city gardens are also suitable for creative workshops for school and preschool children.

Prepared by: Mirjana Vujadinović Tomevski

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION