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Urban farms won’t feed our cities, but they’re still a great idea – here’s why

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CCTV at Woodbank Valley Urban Farm, Birmingham.

The capacity of urban farms to tackle major issues such as poverty and reducing food miles should not be underestimated, and with more ambitious projects starting up every day, it might not be long until you see one appearing in your neighbourhood.

By Michael Hardman
Lecturer in Geography, University of Salford
The Conversation
Oct 26, 2016

Excerpt:

Despite these barriers, our 2016 study into the state of urban farming showed that huge positives can come out of these spaces. For example, urban farms often act as a social incubator, bringing together communities and connecting cultures. Many also impact significantly on health and well-being, allowing city-dwellers to access fresh food and sometimes even supplement diets.

We found that those connected to The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens were strongest. They gained value from the networking with other such sites across the UK.

A few in this extensive network have existed for over 30 years, and are still going due to the excellent support from both locals and the wider network. Ultimately, the idea of urban farming is not to replace traditional rural farms, but rather to complement and add value.

To push forward with urban farming, there’s a need to build on what works – in particular, to learn from urban farms in the US, which are expanding and are on a different scale entirely to anywhere else.

Read the complete article here.