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Profitability and sustainability of urban and peri-urban agriculture

Profitability and sustainability of urban and peri-urban agriculture

Health aspects related to reusing wastewater are much debated (see Proceedings of the E-Conference on Wastewater Re-use (IWMI and RUAF, published on the www.ruaf.org). The use of wastewater and organic wastes makes good sense from the perspective of the poor urban farm-households: it secures the supply of irrigation water and nutrients, and, most importantly, lowers production costs. Often, there is simply no alternative available (Keraita et al., 2003). However, there are important associated health risks. To protect farmers’ and consumers’ health, in 1989 the World Health Organization (WHO) published ‘Guidelines for the safe use of wastewater in agriculture.’ The application of the guidelines, however, has been difficult in many field situations in Africa, as wastewater treatment is not possible for a variety of reasons, and strict application would mean destroying many livelihoods that depend on UPA (Obuobie et al., 2006). Many cities in SSA issued by-laws forbidding the use of drain water for vegetable irrigation, but they are seldom enforced (Danso et al., 2002b). The guidelines were discussed during an expert meeting in Hyderabad organized by IWMI, IDRC and RUAF (UAM, no. 8, 2002). The new WHO Guidelines were released in 2006; they are more flexible and now consider wastewater treatment as only one component in integrated risk management (Obuobie et al., 2006). Nonetheless, more activities should be undertaken in order to examine how wastewater is actually used, to find a better balance between safeguarding consumers’ health and farmers’ livelihoods, and to cater to improved management practices in UPA (Drechsel et al., 2002).
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Connections and missing links within urban agriculture, food and food systems

Connections and missing links within urban agriculture, food and food systems

Some researchers theorise the affirmation of a new inte- grated territorial agro-food paradigm (Wiskerke, 2009). This paradigm is characterised by the relocation of production and consumption systems through short or direct supply chains, in opposition to an agro-industrial paradigm that re- gards the disconnection between producer and consumer, as well as the de-territorialisation of production. This dual approach is disputed by other authors, who interpret short supply chain as a hybrid model that does not constitute a real alternative to the conventional system (Watt et al., 2005; Dubuisson and Le Velly, 2008). Rastoin and Ghersi (2010) state that it is necessary to organise the transition to a new model of “sustainable” food development, which can only have a hybrid form by combining modern config- urations (based on globalisation) and post-modern config- urations (based on territorial connection) that valorise the historical heritage specific to each society and territory with the scientific and technical knowledge of this century. Rouget et al. (2014) detect the O’TERA network as a hy- brid model. This is a private participant of large-scale retail trade that applies the sale techniques of large and medium stores to short chains. It achieves a goal of relocating food production; ⅔ of selected fresh products is local and belong to short chain, changing the scale of distribution by ensuring a range of supply, accessibility, service rapidity and longer opening times, all aspects that are characteristic of large- scale retail trade. The authors state that this model plays the role of an interface between the city and the rural world by reconciling economic and socio-territorial logics. Bouré (2017) describes gardening, the participation of Community Supported Agriculture or cooperative supermarkets as the result of the hybridisation process of spaces or activities. According to the author, this hybridisation allows the devel- opment of these forms of reappropriation by citizens that contribute to the construction of urban food Commons. The author claims also that it is up to the citizens themselves to build these Commons, to multiply them, to foster coopera- tion, and share these good practices, thus building a new food system by and for humans that is respectful of nature, ethical, and sustainable.
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Land suitability analysis to assess the potential of public open spaces for urban agriculture activities

Land suitability analysis to assess the potential of public open spaces for urban agriculture activities

In a world increasingly dominated by cities and an accelerated urban sprawl, urban agriculture emerges as an alternative for the continuous stock and food supply that urban population demands. This thesis aimed to identify and evaluate potential available areas in public locations for implementing urban agriculture practices within the urban perimeter of the city of Bogota in Colombia. The methodology was conducted using variables reflecting the physical, environmental and socioeconomic components of the area. Two approaches were implemented to evaluate a land suitability analysis for urban agriculture to alleviate urban poverty by increasing food security and nutrition in the study area. The first approach was based on expert knowledge combining GIS with multicriteria decision making analysis (MCDM) using analytical hierarchical process (AHP) method, estimating that 21% of the study area presents highly suitability conditions for implementing urban agriculture activities. The second approach was developed using supervised machine learning algorithms for classification models based on historical data of the current sites, where urban agriculture activities were being implemented in the city, showing that 18% of the study area is in high suitability conditions for the implementation of urban agriculture activities. Both approaches indicated that the areas of excellent suitability are located in the South and Southwestern parts of the study area, emphasizing its congruence with the areas with the lowest socioeconomic levels in the city.
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The importance of interdisciplinary approach to urban agriculture and transitions in food systems: research on Lisbon Metropolitan Area

The importance of interdisciplinary approach to urban agriculture and transitions in food systems: research on Lisbon Metropolitan Area

Institute (ISCTE-IUL). The scientific areas involved Environ- mental Engineering, Architecture and Urbanism. The main objective was to develop a comparative analysis of the Urban Metabolism of LMA, in two historical periods (1900 and 1950). Aware of the growing restrictions on the avail- ability of natural resources and the implications of urban growth over the territory and the urban environment, the MEMO Project seeks to contribute to a better understand- ing of the relationship between Urban Morphology and the metabolic behaviour of the territory, in order to support the development of guidelines for land-use planning that aim to optimize the use of natural resources through two specific methodological approaches: a Material Flow Accounting of food products; a Visual Characterization of water and agri- culture uses. This innovative combination of methodologies aimed to surpass a common difficulty to non-engineering disciplinary areas-to approach metabolic analysis of the urban environments. Therefore, the adopted methodology included five specific steps: i) accounting of food production and food consumption; ii) identification of potential supply areas; and iii) a visual characterization of agriculture uses and water elements through historical cartographic sourc- es. While adopting conventional methods of material flow accounting, as employed within Industrial and environ- mental engineering mostly, this project added a new com- ponent: a detailed visual characterization of the elements related to agriculture (land use) and water use (equipment and infrastructures) in the territory under analysis and that were deemed to justify LMA Metabolism (Marat-Mendes et al, 2015, Marat-Mendes et al, 2016).
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A agricultura urbana em Uberlândia (MG) / URBAN AGRICULTURE IN UBERLÂNDIA (MG), BRAZIL

A agricultura urbana em Uberlândia (MG) / URBAN AGRICULTURE IN UBERLÂNDIA (MG), BRAZIL

This research examines the existent agricultural activities in the urban space of Uberlândia (MG), trying to notice its role and importance in the context of the development and, more specifically, in the context of the local provisioning and alimentary safety. The Urban Agriculture, conceived as a group of typical activities of the rural world (cultivation, creation, fishing, etc.) that are developed close or inside the cities, is the main object of this study. Our purpose can be summarized in the recognition of the reality and of the importance of the agricultural activities in the urban space of Uberlândia municipal district (MG), starting from the understanding of the interactions among the rural and urban worlds.
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Delgado C. 2017 . Mapping out urban agriculture in Portugal. Lessons from Practices and its relevance for Urban Systems in Europe

Delgado C. 2017 . Mapping out urban agriculture in Portugal. Lessons from Practices and its relevance for Urban Systems in Europe

A significant sample of twenty-nine Portuguese urban agriculture (UA) initiatives is analysed in this article. It argues that emerging initiatives are relevant for shifting from a post-crisis approach to one that is more developmental. This multi-level analysis finds that UA in Portugal: embraces allotment gardens, urban farms and short food chains; deals primarily with vegetables and fruit; takes place predominantly on public and institutional land; and is championed by municipalities and to a lesser extent by civil society initiatives. UA is predominantly a metropolitan phenomenon. Furthermore, activities are organised around three pillars: production of food; simple processing and distribution; and a significant set of capacity building and training activities. UA is recent phenomena in Portugal, and it has expanded quickly since the 2008 economic crisis. The paper explores in-depth four innovative short food chains from the sample of initiatives. They are led by young entrepreneurs, make positive use of social networks, are committed to social and economic values, and expanded successfully in generating jobs at the time of the crisis. These examples strongly suggest that UA social economy enterprises are a driving force behind integrated sustainable development approaches in European cities, if and when supported by public policies.
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Urban agriculture and agrobiodiversity conservation: a case study in Mato Grosso State, Brazil

Urban agriculture and agrobiodiversity conservation: a case study in Mato Grosso State, Brazil

Abstract (Urban agriculture and agrobiodiversity conservation: a case study in Mato Grosso State, Brazil) – It is common for residents of small cities, who are often of rural origin, to grow food plants in urban and peri-urban areas, an activity that can contribute to plant species conservation. An ethnobotanical study was conducted of this phenomenon in five peripheral neighborhoods of the town of Santo Antônio do Leverger, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. A survey of 135 randomly- selected households was carried out to characterize the frequency of food plants, and a more detailed ethnobotanical study was done in 30 households. Descriptive analyses and analyses of similarity and ordination were conducted. Ninety- seven species from 38 botanical families were identified, cultivated in three types of areas: homegardens and fields, which have different and complementary floristic structure and composition; and empty lots, which are intermediary between the other two. While some species are common to the majority of households studied, the similarity between the sets of species/varieties is, in general, below 50%; besides, many of them have low frequency. On the one hand, this illustrates the different contributions of each household to the total; on the other hand, it also reveals the vulnerability to loss of species/varieties, which is partially avoided through their circulation in the social network. Since many cities in Brazil have characteristics similar to the one studied, their potential for maintaining agro-biodiversity should be taken into consideration.
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Urban agriculture: a way to a sustainable complementarity between the city and the countryside

Urban agriculture: a way to a sustainable complementarity between the city and the countryside

For centuries, town and country maintained a relation of dichotomy and complementarity, but, because of industrial and technological progress, this dichotomy had faded way and the complementary links were broken. The country, with less population and fewer labour, affected in its economic and social structure, lost the ability to produce enough and high-quality food for town that, besides its social and environmental problems, has been seeking for solutions inside itself to improve the quality of urban life, but never stopped to extend its limits and to consume agricultural soil. We evolved from the traditional approach of urban / rural into a global landscape: urban and rural get mixed, creating discontinuities needing to be overcome. We believe urban agriculture, in its different implementation forms, is a way to overcome them by allowing a landscape construction that will retrieve the elementary processes of production, recreation and protection and, therefore, the lost complementarity.
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SEEDING THE CITY: HISTORY AND CURRENT AFFAIRS OF URBAN AGRICULTURE

SEEDING THE CITY: HISTORY AND CURRENT AFFAIRS OF URBAN AGRICULTURE

Evidence and historical reports suggest that the development of urban agriculture in the world is linked to the practices of city gardening, with the agroforestry sowing of both fruit-bearing and non-fruit-bearing tree species, flowers, greenery, vegetables and me- dicinal plants (NAIR,1986). Through archeological findings, ancient Egypt is considered the birthplace of several agricultural practices of the Western world, due to the creation and incorporation of cultures and technologies. Besides the irrigation practices, known as the harbinger of hydraulic engineering, there are also reports of urban agriculture in the region, where fruit-bearing trees and medicinal plants were usual in domestic gardens and the great temples (JANICK, 2010).
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SOCIAL DIMENSION OF URBAN AND PERIURBAN AGRICULTURE

SOCIAL DIMENSION OF URBAN AND PERIURBAN AGRICULTURE

Catalonia located in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, has suffered a significant urbanisation process since the 1960s and 1970s, due to the rising residential demand and the construction of mobility infrastructures, especially around the capital city, Barcelona. Folch et al (2018) said highlights the loss of almost one third of the agricultural land in the ten most populated municipalities of the province of Barcelona from 1982 to 2017. This had a direct impact in the fields surrounding cities that suffered from sprawl, reducing space for agriculture. On the contrary, there are some rural areas in Catalonia that are experiencing agriculture abandonment due to the loss of population and the harder conditions of some areas for farming. To prevent this, the agricultural sector have for years been protesting for a law to be introduced to protect agrarian soil. It was not until last year that the “Law of agrarian spaces ” became a reality. This law seeks “to stop the growing use of land due to urban growth and the expansion of the forest area, which entails not only intrusion in the agricultural environment, but also generates significant quotas of legal uncertainty and loss of competitiveness of farms” (LIei 3/2019, del 17 de juny). An important aspect of the law is the recognition of UPA spaces and the obligation to develop a specific plan for these areas. The law describes periurban agriculture as the one that is located in the outskirts of urban areas having the following features: a high urban pressure, the pressure of other economic sectors over food land uses and resources, instability of land uses, a significant land division and a high pressure due to an intensive social use that can be incompatible with agrarian activity.
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Urban Agriculture: The Allotment Gardens as Structures of Urban Sustainability

Urban Agriculture: The Allotment Gardens as Structures of Urban Sustainability

This concept grew in the project design investigation and explores the role that urban agriculture may play in urban design. It was thought and articulated for the first time in 1998 by workshop Bohn and Viljoen – Architects, followed by a publication of the book Continuous Productive Landscapes: Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities. This concept was the center of international attention and is, currently, part of the contemporary speech project. André Viljoen and Katrin Bohn are currently developing this concept in Brighton University – Faculty of Arts, through the said workshop.
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SOCIAL DIMENSION OF URBAN AND PERIURBAN AGRICULTURE

SOCIAL DIMENSION OF URBAN AND PERIURBAN AGRICULTURE

The introduction of agriculture in cities is one of the current priority axes for urban environmental reform. There is a broad consensus in this regard, largely because of the improvement of urban ecosystem balances. However, urban agriculture also offers various possibilities for society to the extent that it can contribute to solving urban poverty situations, while improving the public health of the neighborhoods where it is located, especially based on ecological principles. In addition to other advantages that directly involve the population that practices agriculture or that has it as a food source. In this way, urban agriculture helps mitigate the double socio-environmental dimension of the planetary ecological crisis of our time. In this sense, this study aims to deepen the social dimension of urban agriculture by problematizing experiences of different cities in the world (particularly Barcelona, Girona and Natal), the latter as contextualization, proposing a scheme of the different types of advantages that it entails. The conclusion points in the direction of a social phenomenon marked by territorial resistance and transition towards a more balanced and counter-rational productive paradigm opposed to the globalized totalitarian capitalist paradigm.
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AGRICULTURA URBANA E PERIURBANA (agriculture urban and periurban)

AGRICULTURA URBANA E PERIURBANA (agriculture urban and periurban)

É um modelo de agricultura sustentável em meio aos aglomerados urbanos, com a proposta, para ser inserida no planejamento do Plano Diretor Municipal, visando uma alternativa viável par[r]

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AGRICULTURE IN URBAN ECOSYSTEMS: A STEP TO CITIES SUSTAINABILITY1

AGRICULTURE IN URBAN ECOSYSTEMS: A STEP TO CITIES SUSTAINABILITY1

As far back as 1996, it was estimated that 800 million people around the world were engaged in Urban Agriculture (SMITH; RATTA; NASR, 1996) and many coun- tries had incorporated UA as an urban development instrument. On the international scene there are now many outstanding UA-related programs and initiatives among them: the movement in Cuba run by the National Urban Agriculture Group (Grupo Nacional de Agricultura Urbana - GNAU); The Urban Agriculture Network (TUAN), based in Washington, D.C., USA; the Support Group on Urban Agriculture (SGUA); the Cities Feeding People project of the Canadian NGO International Development Research Center (IDRC); and the Resource Center for Urban Agriculture and Forestry (RUAF). In 2018, Denmark commissioned the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an environmental organization based in Copenhagen, to conduct a study of UA and all its potential in the city of Copenhagen to support and make feasible its objective of making the city CO 2 neutral by the year 2025. That study examined all the environmental, social, political, economic, civic and public health implications of UA as part of the bid to identify the requirements for establishing urban farms in the region. Implementation models and costs were analyzed and the study resulted in a series of recommendations regarding UA in the city and its immediate surroundings (HOOPS et al., 2018).
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How Sustainable Agriculture Can Address the Environmental and Human Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture

How Sustainable Agriculture Can Address the Environmental and Human Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture

Some portions of the developing world are beginning to adopt Western dietary pat- terns and, as a result, are experiencing an increase in the chronic diseases associated with a richer diet. China offers a sobering case in point: meat consumption nearly dou- bled countrywide during the 1990s (4), with the increase especially pronounced among urban residents. This dietary shift is consid- ered a major reason that chronic diseases have become a more common cause of death in China, with acute diseases becoming less common because of improvements in water, sanitation, and immunizations. According to Zhao et al. (5), measles, tuberculosis, and senility were the three most common causes of death before 1950, but in 1985 malignant tumors, cerebrovascular disease, and ischemic heart disease were the most common. To support its “Westernizing” diet, China has also begun a shift toward more of the resource-intensive agricultural practices that predominate in richer countries.
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ORGANC AGRICULTURE AND SUSTENTABILITY

ORGANC AGRICULTURE AND SUSTENTABILITY

More than ever, the impact that human activities have had on the environment has increasingly been of concern since the industrial and urban growth have produced considerable environmental impact on the planet, altering the natural balance. This action requires a more conscious human being. Human must use resources rationally provided by nature, observing the parameters of sustainability, a mean, prioritizing sustainable development.

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Agriculture and food in the globalization age

Agriculture and food in the globalization age

The growing importance of these TNCs is based on their significant financial leverage and market power. Unlike a production-driven corporation that obtains most of its profits through enhanced field production efficiency, the major source of profitability of the commercial-driven TNC derives its power and position from the market place, namely the possibility of receiving cash and the subsequent ability to pay its suppliers within 60 to 90 days. These TNCs are fierce competitors that, using their financial leverage, increase their market power by forcing less efficient companies to discontinue or sell their operations. The 2000 summary report of the state of world grocery retailing published by the British Food Journal provides sufficient evidence of these trends, as it discusses key examples such as Wal-Mart taking over Asda in UK; the merger of Carrefour with Promodès resulting in the creation of the largest world retailer; and the acquisition of 50% of the Scandinavian ICA by Ahold, following the acquisition of a stake in La Fragua in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador (Higgins 2001).
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Innovation issues in water, agriculture and food

Innovation issues in water, agriculture and food

An organizational solution for improving the governance of water and land use and, consequently, improving the supply–demand water balance in the Mendoza River basin in Argentina, is described by Solomon-Sirolesi and Farinós-Dasí [16]. A strategic analysis of water organization was performed that produced a strategic map and provided for using the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model. The application of the organizational and governance model to various scenarios provided for reordering allocations to irrigation water users, so improving farm and irrigation system, which is expected to make it possible to accommodate water demand in 2030 better than at present. Moreover, users’ participation is enhanced. Differently, but along the same line of searching for improved irrigation water governance, Playán et al. [17] reviewed the evolution of water governance and societal perception in large irrigation systems in developing countries since the 1980s which included participatory irrigation management, irrigation management transfer, and public-private partnerships or market instruments and, more important, that led to a generalized implementation of water users associations (WUAs). The paper, therefore, reviews recurrent problems and solutions in the governance of irrigated projects in various regions of the world. The authors used a semiquantitative approach to relate solutions to problems in WUAs. The solution vector indicates the adequacy of each solution to a case study WUA. The application of this approach to various case study WUAs demonstrated its potential.
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IV PhD Students Meeting in Environmental and Agriculture

IV PhD Students Meeting in Environmental and Agriculture

The goal of Ph.D. project “Studies in environmental sustainability assessment of land use systems” is to use models of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles in agro-ecosystems to assess the sustainability of agricultural innovations and their response to local and global environmental change. The project uses a multi-scale framework, in order to assess and optimize global diets and in particular the role of animal production. Here, we performed an integrated feasibility assessment of the main promising sustainable dietary shifts (reduced meat, vegetarian and vegan diet) using conventional and organic production. We compared each diet with the continuation of a ‘Business-As-Usual’ (BAU) diet. After taking into account scenarios of food demand, we assessed for each diet in 2050 if there was sufficient area for production, enough N availability, and if it was possible to reduce GHG emissions. We used the ‘BioBam’ model to calculate the balance between biophysical supply and biomass demand. We modified BioBam in order to compute C and N mass balances, which enabled the assessment of the N budget of each diet as well as the calculation of GHG emissions. Results show that the largest decreases of GHG emissions are obtained by reducing or eliminating animal products from diets. However, eliminating animal products requires large yield increases that are only potentially achievable through conventional farming. It is still possible to reduce GHG emissions in meat-based diets by replacing ruminants with monogastric animals, which decreases emissions due to enteric fermentation. For example, full conversion to monogastric products can lead to higher GHG reductions than changing to a vegetarian diet (40% and 30% less than the BAU emissions, respectively). Organic diets avoid the environmental burden of synthetic fertilizer and are potentially feasible. However, they require animal sources of N. Without animal fertilization, organic diets are unable to provide the N required to feed the world population. Consequently, N scarcity is the highest in complete plant-based organic diets, which lack manure as source of N. We also show that alternative sources of N, such as municipal solid waste, are insufficient for solving N scarcity.
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Participation in urban interventions. Meaning-effects and urban citizenship

Participation in urban interventions. Meaning-effects and urban citizenship

Movimento Centrifugo (Centrifugal Movement), from here on MC, was an event made of “seven appointments for seven marginal areas of Milan, aiming at promoting a new type of urban tourism and rediscovering seven squares and their inhabitants, making them the centre of city life”. 6 The event was set up in 2008 by one of the organizations involved in the studied Consortium. The name sums up its official goal: inverting the usual movement of Milan’s cultural life, by bringing people to Milan’s unexplored marginal areas and translating their local actors and practices at the core of the urban cultural dynamics. The event took place in urban spaces located in Zone 4 as well as in other parts of Milan. Each of MC’s appointments started in the early afternoon with playful workshops and shows for children that were staged in the more frequented streets, platforms and public gardens of a specific, peripheral, neighborhood. The central part of the event commenced after dinner, when the central square of the neighborhood was transformed in an open-air cinema for free movie projections. MC did not succeed in attaining its ambitious goal of inverting the flux of the city’s social and cultural life but it did produce a relevant meaning-effect: the proposal and visibilization of a new and anomalous (Plǿger, 2010) frame through which Milan marginal areas, undeservedly lacking the social and cultural attention of the rest of the city, could be conceived as potentially interesting neighborhoods to explore. This frame significantly differed from other contemporary frames that viewed these spaces as poor locales, or even as dangerous places that needed to be securitized (Foot, 2000). This security-focused approach paralleled the framing that was mainly promoted by left-wing local associations, whose intention to address the needs of marginalized areas was based on promoting universal citizenship rights and access to the social services offered by public and non-profit actors. Both securitarian and leftist framings shared the same assumption that those areas were poor, lacking adequate resources and opportunities. MC contested these assumptions, drawing on the idea that these areas were rich in possibilities and as such deserving further exploration, maintenance and cultural investments.
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