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RUAF: Urban Agriculture as a Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy


RUAF Urban Agriculture Magazine No. 27, March 2014

RUAF-Foundation (International network of Resource centres on Urban Agriculture and Food security)
March 2014


This issue is prepared with support of the UN Habitat Cities and Climate Change Initiative. It reports on the joint urban agriculture programme implemented by RUAF and UN Habitat. This issue also shares findings of a CDKN funded innovation project on monitoring urban agriculture impacts on climate change.

Cities and climate change are virtually inseparable. Cities are major contributors to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and thus climate change.

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April 18, 2014   No Comments

Hong Kong’s fish farms in the sky

Lloyd Moskalik sells two tonnes of fish to wholesalers each week.

This is because as one of the most densely populated places in the world, there is simply very little spare space. So fish farms have to fit in where they can.

By Peter Shadbolt
BBC News
April 2, 2014


There are 11 plastic tanks in total, holding a combined 80,000 litres of salt water.

They are full of grouper, a white-fleshed fish, which are all destined to end up on the plates of restaurant-goers across Hong Kong.

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April 10, 2014   No Comments

Korea: Number of city farmers surged to 440,000 from 287,000

Residents of Dunchon in Gangdong-gu, Seoul, grow vegetables at a farm opened by the district office. Photo by Gangdong District Office.

Urban farming spreads fast in Korea with growing interest in healthy lifestyle, food safety and environment

By Cho Chung-un
Korea Herald
Mar 28, 2014

Figures provide a glimpse into the growing popularity of urban farming. According to the Seoul city government, the number of city farms surged dramatically from 66 in 2010 to 2,056 last year. Abundant media coverage also reflects this unusual interest. The number of articles published by local newspapers on urban farming surpassed the 1 million mark in 2012 from 200,000 in 2010, according to a study by local think tank Seoul Institute.

Then where is Seoul’s zeal for urban farming coming from? Ahn Cheol-hwan, representative of the Association of City Farmers in Korea, stresses the “unstoppable” human instinct to return to nature.

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April 10, 2014   No Comments

City agriculture sprouts in Korea

Weekend farm (Yonhap).

According to the Seoul Agricultural Technology Center, rooftop gardens are expected to save people about 16.6 percent on heating and cooling costs

By Suk Gee-hyun
The Korea Herald
Mar 28, 2014


A growing number of schools in major cities are teaching these lessons by making gardens in empty spaces or on rooftops. In Seoul, a total of 62 schools were offered related subsidies and educational guides by the city government last year.

Among Korean schools joining the move, Myeongeok Elementary School in Daegu won the top prize in a school farming competition hosted by the Rural Development Administration in 2013.

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April 9, 2014   No Comments

Farming in the city in Vietnam

A group of farmers take a break with tea and coffee during their harvesting in Ward 28 in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Also see video within the article.

Only a 30 minute motorbike ride from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Thanh District’s Ward 28 in the Thanh Da peninsula offers a different look at an inner city due to its rural appearance.

By Minh Vu – Dong Nguyen


The small road leading to Ward 28 separates it from the nearby crowd of cafes, restaurants, hotels, and resorts.

For people who desire a breath of fresh air away from the city, a visit to the paddy fields in Ward 28 is ideal.

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April 9, 2014   No Comments

Seoul City Farmers – Korea


Urban Farmers’ Meetup

Seoul, Korea (South)
Founded May 8, 2013


Seoul City Farmers is a group for all people! Especially people who are interested in… ~ growing food (plants, animals or bees) in the city ~ learning about the food system ~ cooking and sharing recipes ~ sharing urban-eco resources ~ exploring the local green community and local farms ~ and much more! Let’s meet and share our ideas, interests and information on urban farming related topics.

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April 8, 2014   Comments Off

Urban farms grow a greener future in Seoul

Summer Planting at Mr. Shin’s Farm. Photo by Mee-Young.

City farms surged dramatically from 66 in 2010 to 2,056 last year.

By Cho Chung-un
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
March 30, 2014


Figures provide a glimpse into the growing popularity of urban farming. According to the Seoul city government, the number of city farms surged dramatically from 66 in 2010 to 2,056 last year. Abundant media coverage also reflects this unusual interest. The number of articles published by local newspapers on urban farming surpassed the 1 million mark in 2012 from 200,000 in 2010, according to a study by local think tank Seoul Institute.

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April 7, 2014   Comments Off

Rooftop Farms on Japanese Train Stations Serve as Community Gardens


“We started this vegetable garden business out of a desire to contribute to the environmental maintenance and the revitalization of the area along the train line.”

By Bridgette Meinhold


The first Soradofarm, also known as a Machinaka Vegetable Garden, was built on top of the Ebisu station in Tokyo over four years ago. Now there are thirteen stations around the country with operating gardens or gardens in the works that are soon to be rented out. The East Japan Railway Company has plans to build community gardens on top of or near each one of its stations in Japan soon. The railway is also working in conjunction with entertainment company, Ekipara to create these rooftop gardens.

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April 1, 2014   Comments Off

Singapore: Comcrop pioneers urban rooftop farming

Comcrop co-founders Shan Kuah, Keith Loh, Jeremy Chua and Allan Lim.

In the city-state of more than 5 million people, local growers make up a small percentage, and imported produce dominates the market.

Fresh Fruit Portal
March 14, 2014


Located on orchard road on top of the *Scape building, the 6000-square feet rooftop farm is right at the heart of Singapore’s city center.

“We use land that is otherwise not used. And the sheer fact that we produce our products right next to the doorsteps of our potential customers means a giant carbon-based food print is reduced. It also reduces a lot of logistics in bringing imports into our country,” Comcrop co-founder Keith Loh tells

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March 20, 2014   Comments Off

Hong Kong’s Guerrilla Gardeners

Sum Wing Man and Step Au are members of Yau Ma Tei Gardener, a group that runs workshops and a rooftop community garden in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Photo by Christopher DeWolf.

Hong Kongers are finding inventive ways to grow sweet potatoes, mangoes, and other edible goodies in an urban jungle.

By Christopher DeWolf
March 2014


HONG KONG — It’s not easy to find the Mango King. “Do you want to go the safe way? Or the quick way?” asks Michael Leung, a designer and urban farming advocate, as we walk past the wholesale fruit market in Hong Kong’s Yau Ma Tei district, halfway up the Kowloon Peninsula. We opt for the quick way, which takes us through a tangled web of highway off-ramps and access roads. Two decades ago, this area was open water, but land reclamation and infrastructure works have turned it into an uninviting no man’s land next to one of Hong Kong’s most crowded neighbourhoods.

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March 15, 2014   Comments Off

Philippine Bill enforcing urban farming filed in Congress

Party List Congressman Agapito Guanlao (left), who sponsored Bill, inspects ripe Red Hot fruits with Fernando Lorenzo, Jenny Remoquillo and Fidel David, manager of the demo farm.

A bill seeking to enforce farming in the urban areas has been filed in the House of Representatives and in the Senate as well.

Philippine Information Agency
March 7 2014


The proposed bill directs the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to campaign for urban agriculture and vertical farming in metropolitan areas to address food security concerns and regenerate ecosystem functions in the Philippines.

Vertical farming is cultivating plant or animal life within a skyscraper greenhouse or on vertically inclined surfaces. The modern idea of vertical farming uses techniques similar to glass houses, where natural sunlight can be augmented with artificial lighting

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March 13, 2014   Comments Off

Community garden project launched at Taipei stadium

Planting vegetables at the event, Feb. 22. (Photo/China Times)

The city government is trying to turn the soccer stadium into a leisure farm to promote urban micro-farming.

China Times
Feb 24, 2014


About 100 “urban farmers,” young and old, on Saturday attended an agricultural event in downtown Taipei which is aimed at encouraging the public to grow their own food.

Wearing boots and gloves, excited crowds planted vegetables and fruits at the disused Zhongshan Soccer Stadium, with many of the kids saying it was their first experience planting vegetables.

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March 5, 2014   Comments Off

Can Urban Farming Feed Bangkok?

Lak Si’s rooftop garden.

Bangkok-Asia talks to those who have made their own city farms right here in Bangkok, on rooftops and in backyards.

By Monruedee Jansuttipan, Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet
Bangkok Asia
Aug 15, 2013


Narong Jongjamfah – Lak Si District Office

How did the project start?

Eleven years ago, the staff at the Public Cleaning and Public Park sections of the district, started growing vegetables on an abandoned plot next to the district office. But when the landlord saw the vegetables, he claimed his land back. The section director at that time then told us, OK, you can grow your vegetables on the roof of the office. Then the ex-assistant director created a website about the whole process and it became this free public education thing.

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March 3, 2014   Comments Off

In Vietnam urban agriculture grows amid pesticide fears

Many companies provide materials to help urban families grow vegetables at home, and also send agronomists to guide them.

With many urbanites worrying about the use of growth chemicals in vegetables, services providing small hanging gardens and care for fresh vegetables grown at home are prospering.

Vietnam Net Bridge
Feb 16, 2014


There have been media reports recently about incidents of vegetables being found treated with growth chemicals and having pesticide residues which exceed the permitted thresholds. This has prompted many urban households to grow vegetables themselves for their families. Previously, people grew vegetable spontaneously, but this has now become a “movement”.

Small vegetable gardens and vegetable-growing trays around houses and yards do not seem strange to people any more in big cities like Ha Noi and HCM City.

Vu Thi Lan in Cau Giay District of Ha Noi said she has been planting vegetables for two years, mostly in Styrofoam boxes. “Although my terrace of 20 square metres was covered with vegetable trays, its output was not high and was not enough for my family,” she said.

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February 24, 2014   Comments Off

Thailand’s “Prince Veggie” – From Homebody to Urban Farmer

Nakorn “Prince” Limpakuptathavorn.

Having started an organic garden in his backyard six years ago, Nakorn “Prince” Limpakuptathavorn, 31, is now best-known for teaching city folk how to go green through the online community Suan Pak Khon Mueang (

By Monruedee Jansuttipan
BK Asia
Feb 10, 2014

BK chats with the man known as “Prince Veggie” about his journey from homebody to organic farmer, and the ever-hot topic of sustainability.


Living the organic way doesn’t mean you have to give up living in the city and move to the country. I chose to farm in the city because it suits me best. It’s a choice to live self-sufficiently. I started sharing my knowledge on, I’ve offered training about city farming for six years now.

People farm for happiness. Previously, people were only interested in organic food because they or their loved ones were sick. But now many urban farmers do it for love. They find happiness in growing fresh and healthy vegetables. They also take pride in sharing their stories. This spreads a message of healthy living and helps foster a good society.

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February 22, 2014   Comments Off