Mainstreaming urban agriculture : opportunities and barriers to upscaling city farming

Hardman, M ORCID:, Clark, A ORCID: and Sherriff, G ORCID: 2022, 'Mainstreaming urban agriculture : opportunities and barriers to upscaling city farming' , Agronomy, 12 (3) , e601.

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Urban Agriculture (UA), i.e., the production of crops or rearing of livestock in cities, is growing in popularity. Upscaled UA is increasingly gaining support from policy makers, funders, local authorities and other key actors across the globe. Radical forms of the concept, in the form of edible rooftops, urban farms and high-tech growing projects, are becoming more commonplace in our cityscapes; enabling production on a level not witnessed previously. With the mainstreaming of large-scale UA comes the potential to further the social, environmental and economic value of the practice, through job creation, biodiversity enhancement, the creation of short food supply chains and other benefits. Yet, despite this growth, there are barriers to upscaling city farming. Evidence suggests that a core issue surrounds urban soil contamination and hesitation with regards to crops in the city. This paper uses a qualitative approach to explore the UK’s largest urban farm and a spectrum of other UA sites to illustrate such barriers. We reveal how public hesitation, financial barriers and soil quality prevent development. We reflect on the breadth of the issue and call for a more pragmatic approach to these barriers. In doing so, we propose a path forward for enabling UA at scale.

Item Type: Article
Contributors: Coker, CEH (Editor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Agronomy
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2073-4395
Related URLs:
Funders: Oldham Council and the Pendleton Cooperative
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 13:55
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 09:15

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