An Urban World

An Urban World

 

Background

By the year 2050 the human population is expected to grow by 35% (from over 7 billion today to over 9 billion), and, simultaneously, an accelerated urbanization process will continue placing more than 85% of humans in cities. As a result, according to predictions, during the next 30 years the demand for food will double.

 

Negative impact on the environment caused by current conventional agriculture

Conventional agriculture is responsible for 30% of Greenhouse Gases, it uses up 70% of all freshwater on the planet and occupies 34% of all arable land on the planet. The inefficiencies of the current agricultural system cause severe damage that places nutritional security as a major factor that may threaten populations around the world.

 

Urban Agriculture as a solution

One of the most significant solutions proposed for the food crisis is the localization of food growing. Urban agriculture is driven by global demand in preparation for climate change, the need of nutritional security and increasing health awareness. Producing sustainable food within the urban area has been the focus of many scholars, researchers and professionals seeking to find solutions to grow large scale produce on and in buildings in densely populated urban areas. New forms of sustainable urban agriculture hope to combine food, architecture and design with an aim of producing produce that will provide a proper solution to all three aspects of the sustainability pillar: environmental challenges, coping with social topics and their improvement and providing prosperity and economic welfare.

Commercial urban agriculture reduces the supply chain, the over-dependence on transportation and the spoilage of produce, contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

 

The cities of the future

Today cities function as consumers of energy resources, food and water, and are a source of immense pollution both in terms of trash and Greenhouse Gases. There is a growing trend of cities that are implementing the values of sustainability and are aiming to provide for the needs of residents in an independent and local manner. There are technologies that enable cities to provide fresh and nutritious produce for their residents, and to create a change from consumer and waste based cities into producer based with sustainable communities. Such a move can create a paradigm shift in the agricultural sector, urban planning and construction, can change the entire face of the city and strengthen the nutritional security of its residents.