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Call for Abstracts – What are the challenges of future urban agriculture?

Agriculture in an urbanizing society – International Conference on Multifunctional Agriculture and Urban-Rural Relations

The Netherlands
1 – 4 April 2012

What are the challenges of future urban agriculture?

Urban agriculture is defined as producing food and food products within the city, or in the city fringe, and simultaneously provide non-food products and services for city dwellers. Urban agriculture is as old as our cities, but lost its function swiftly in the 19th century mainly due to new means of conservation, processing and transportation of food. Today, urban agriculture, in all its diversity, is regaining its function as local food producer and processor, in both developing and developed cities worldwide.

However, the initiatives operate at different levels of scale, in different domains, with different jargon and without coherence. Moreover, the initiatives still are depending on a few ambitious entrepreneurs, civilians or policymakers. This could hamper further development and even risk a future decline.

Evidence is coming available that urban agriculture has a potential for improving liveability in cities, enhancing (bio-)diversity, improving health and more social interaction between city dwellers. Could we address the potentials (and risks) of modern urban agriculture. In this working group we ask you for contributions on one or more of the following topics:

The possible benefits and expenses of urban agriculture (investment, redesign, space)
The role of urban agriculture in cities liveability, e.g. social interactions, social cohesion within the city and rural – city interactions
The contribution of urban agriculture to food security in urban areas
The contribution of urban agriculture to cities (bio)diversity
The contribution of urban agriculture to sustainable urban food chains (reuse of waste or minerals and reducing food miles)
Transitions needed in attitude, acting and organisation of city dwellers, policy and entrepreneurs

Based on the different contributions we will pay a lot of attention in this working group on debating the future research and action agenda on urban agriculture.

See more details here.