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Urban Agriculture and Smart Cities

[Gondolas on Canals in Venice, Italy - Walks of Italy]


Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for A More Livable Future



- Overview

It's no secret that our world is becoming increasingly urbanized. In 1980, approximately 4.4 billion people lived in urban areas, but by 2014 this number had grown to 7.3 billion. Now, it is predicted that by 2050, the world's urban population will reach 9.7 billion. That's roughly two-thirds of the projected global population, a staggering figure. 

Such staggering population growth puts even more pressure on the surrounding environment. A common problem is access to enough fresh, clean water to support growing urban populations. Another issue is the problem of air quality in densely populated areas and the exposure of people to dangerous air pollution. Another concern is the huge amount of waste that big cities generate and how to dispose of it responsibly. 

When you consider all of this, it's easy to see why the focus on sustainability is only going to grow in importance.


- Urban Agriculture: A Next Big Thing for Sustainable Cities

A sustainable city, sometimes called an eco-city or green city, is an urban environment that emphasizes environmentally friendly practices and minimizes environmental impact.

Using sustainable food production to feed the cities of today and tomorrow is an urgent task. Global food security is of paramount importance as the world's population and urban population continue to grow, climate change and natural resources come under pressure. How can we feed more people on limited agricultural land and limited resources? 

How can we best use space, light and logistics to meet the demands of our growing urban population? What can zero-waste and low-energy technologies contribute to food production in urban environments? 

These issues are addressed in vertical farming and urban farming. If properly designed and implemented, vertical farming and urban farming can provide sustainable and innovative solutions to improving food security. 


Dubai Marina Sunset_UAE_012021A
[Dubai Marina Sunset, UAE - shmmoo5z]

- Vertical and Urban Farming

Today, responsible urban planners are looking for ways to make our urban centers more sustainable and environmentally friendly. After all, the green movement isn't just a fad. Rather, it is an essential part of the changes we need to make to ensure our planet still thrives for future generations.

Urban agriculture can bring a variety of environmental, economic and social benefits to surrounding communities. Urban farming can reduce transportation costs, help reduce storm-related runoff, and improve air quality. 

Supporting local food producers, such as through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) memberships, also helps boost regional economic development by keeping capital in the local economy. 

Technological innovations have enabled urban farmers to go beyond traditional urban methods and expand their operations and growing seasons. These innovations include vertical farms, hydroponic greenhouses (eg, soilless systems) and hydroponics facilities (eg, growing fish and plants simultaneously in one integrated system).


- More Information on Urban Controlled Environment Agriculture


[MIT]: The Open Agriculture intiative (OpenAg) - Farming for the Future - An open source ecosystem of food technologies to create healthier, more engaging and more inventive food systems. Grow local, from anywhere.


[More to come ...]

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