Across the globe, urban farming initiatives have grown. With the increased focus on finding sustainable food resources, urban agriculture is gaining more interest as a multifaceted alternative farming solution. Many communities are seeing the benefits that these urban farms can have on the environment, the community and the local economy. Let’s explore a few of the common benefits:
- Community Building
Urban agriculture brings people together over the common interest of food. Many urban agriculture programs require a high level of social organization which promotes a sense of ownership among the community members. This increased sense of shared responsibility contributes to the betterment of the community as well as improving the health of the community which the farm serves.
- Public Health
Urban agriculture increases the access to affordable, healthy food for communities in which many individuals suffer from malnutrition and other diet related health issues. These farms also provide the opportunity for individuals to learn about healthy food and how to grow it.
- Reduce Carbon Emissions
Carbon emissions from plant-based products are as much as 10-50 times lower than most animal-based products. By making plant-based foods more accessible urban farmers empower members of their community to make more environmentally conscious decisions in their diet.
- Economic Growth
Local food systems have a positive impact on the local economy. Many grocers, restaurants and schools seek out local food sources which leads to opportunities for food entrepreneurs to explore urban farming as a new frontier to grow their business. This business growth leads to more job opportunities, increasing the economic activity which leads to thriving cities.
By providing healthy, local food within the community, urban farmers are combatting resource scarcity, environmental harm and public health issues. These efforts have a positive effect on the long term health of cities, their residents and the environment.