Farms in cities: Smart ideas for planners

Urban agriculture, as a global phenomenon, is widely promoted as a sustainable land use practice. On small plots and big projects, using sophisticated technology or simple solutions, city dwellers worldwide produce food. Growing food in a city can improve local food security and express local culture.

Little information is available, though, on what kinds of spaces and technologies urban agriculture requires. This sort of information would be useful to architects and built environment specialists when they design buildings and urban spaces that can accommodate urban agriculture.

As part of a larger research project on the climate change adaptation potential of urban agriculture, our study explored the spatial, material, and technological characteristics of selected urban agriculture farms. We looked at how it’s done in dense urban settings in four countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore, and South Africa.


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