Photo: Unsplash/Petr Magera
21 Jul 2022 Video Cities and lifestyles

Leveraging urban agriculture to support cities

Cities, which occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, account for up to 80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions. By 2050, nearly 70 per cent 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.