Following the success of the first conference in the series which took place in the New Forest, UK (2018), the conference has been reconvened in 2020. The aim of the meeting is to review and discuss ways in which urban agriculture can contribute to achieving sustainable cities.
The increasing number of people in cities requires new strategies to supply the necessary food with limited provision of land and decreasing resources. This will become more challenging unless innovative solutions for growing and distributing food in urban environments are considered.
The scale of modern food production has created and exacerbated many vulnerabilities and the feeding of cities is now infinitely more complex. As such, the food system cannot be considered secure, ethical or sustainable.
In the last few years, there has been a rapid expansion in initiatives and projects exploring innovative methods and processes for sustainable food production.
The majority of these projects are focused on providing alternative models that shift the power back from the global food system to communities and farmers improving social cohesion, health and wellbeing. It is therefore not surprising that more people are looking towards urban farming initiatives as a potential solution.
These initiatives have demonstrated that urban agriculture has the potential to transform our living environment towards ecologically sustainable and healthy cities. Urban agriculture can also contribute to energy, natural resources, land and water savings, ecological diversity and urban management cost reductions.
The impact urban agriculture can have on the shape and form of our cities has never been fully addressed. How cities embed these new approaches and initiatives, as part of new urban developments and a city regeneration strategy is critical.
The Urban Agriculture conference will address these challenges and search for new solutions.