Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group Ltd

Sustainable urban agriculture: stocktake and opportunities

This paper reviews research on urban agriculture which relates to the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic and environmental. We propose that urban agriculture has three elements: urban agriculture in isolation; its interface with the people and environment within which it is situated; and its contribution to the design of built form. Additionally, we consider its scale: micro, meso and macro. The analysis draws attention to legal, social and economic constraints and opportunities. It suggests that future priorities for research should be directed towards (i) strategically identifying principles of sustainable urban agriculture that help policy makers to design resilient cities, e.g. using flood-prone areas for food and employment, and (ii) operationally trialling innovative institutional mechanisms, e.g. differential land taxes to support sustainable urban agriculture or payments for environmental services provided by urban agriculture such as carbon sequestration.

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