For some years now, the future of conventional agriculture has not really looked bright. Long transport routes, poor soil and climate change are making it increasingly difficult to bring food to market sustainably and freshly. All the more so when this market is located in large cities or metropolitan regions where suitable cultivation areas are almost impossible to find. But what would it look like if these urban areas were to take care of their own food in the future, and in the middle of the city?
By now, many people have probably heard of urban gardening. In many large cities, there have also been successful small projects for years that grow fresh fruit and vegetables in the middle of the city. The yield of these urban gardens is then shared among the gardeners, and the surplus harvest is sold locally at a favorable price. Taking this idea a step further, the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables could possibly come from the gardens of one's own city. So the idea is to decentralize the cultivation in order to manage as many small but therefore self-managed vegetable gardens in the city as possible. Depending on the available space, such a garden could then be a few simple raised beds, or even an entire strip of green.
In addition, Urban Gardens form a great meeting space for all people. Knowledge can be exchanged and passed on while everyone benefits.
But in addition to the benefits of food supply and meeting, increasing greening of big cities can also be beneficial for the climate. Many large cities are struggling with increasingly poor air quality and intense heating. Plants naturally prevent such changes. So the more urban gardening there is in a city, the better the air and temperature regulation.
The last few years of the pandemic have shown how important it is to be able to guarantee a secure supply of fresh food, even without global supply chains and large corporations. Moreover, a virus spreads even faster with poor air quality.
A stable infrastructure for and with urban gardens can therefore only do a major city good. In addition to the local availability of fresh food, it creates opportunities for social engagement and also a better climate for the city and district.
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