Urban agriculture and adaption to climate change
Urban farms have the potential to increase (urban) food security, important because more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. In addition, and these farms are seen as more climate-resilient than traditional farms, in the case of so-called ‘vertical farms’ because they have the ability to precise control nutrients, water and use of pesticides. Small-scale urban farming in the open, also offers a social component to the primary process. FACCE-JPI is therefore investigating the potential of urban agriculture and is looking for opportunities to integrate urban agriculture into current projects or new actions.
FACCE-JPI, in partnership with JPI Urban Europe, organised an exploratory workshop for researchers, policymakers and stakeholders with interests and expertise in urban agriculture and adaptation to climate change. The workshop was held 21 January in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
Member States were ask to provide input into an exploratory workshop, that will focus on both high-intensity ‘vertical’ farms and low-intensity, community-based gardens. In the vertical farms, vegetables or other plant species are grown under LED-lamps in sterile and climate-controlled buildings so the plants are not exposed to droughts and pests and are not prone to drought or heavy rainfalls.
The workshop aimed to understand the current landscape of urban agriculture, its impact, policy context, and potential for adaptation to climate change, in order to identify key questions and priority areas to which FACCE-JPI/JPI Urban Europe can contribute.
From the conclusions of the Workshop the following recommendations were formulated for the Governing Boards of the JPIs:
Recommendation 1: Support research, in collaboration with other partners in the bioeconomy space, into biorefinery processes, recycling, waste management and related areas to provide evidence for up to date policies on food production and food safety.
Recommendation 2: Utilise suitable upcoming Horizon Europe partnerships and their instruments such as Living Labs to address transnational issues on a local but connected level.
Recommendation 3: Treat urban agriculture as part of the food system and address all resulting issues (planning, sustainability, policy etc.) under this aspect.