Symposium: From urban agriculture to edible cities

Challenges and chances for approaching sustainable urban socio-ecological systems

Today´s society is facing a range of challenges connected with urbanization such as climate change, social segregation or resource depletion. Due to the complexity of societal challenges and urban systems there is an increasing need to foster systemic solutions evolving multidimensional benefits for society, nature and economy. The production of food within cities through urban agriculture can be considered as nature-based solution contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security, biodiversity and ecosystem services, agricultural intensification, resource efficiency, urban renewal and regeneration, land management, public health, social cohesion, cultural traditions and economic growth. Cities can be composed by a mosaic of different forms of urban agriculture depending on a spatial (e.g., roof top gardens, house gardens, vertical farming), actor (e.g., family farm, community garden), or organizational perspective (e.g., market-, prosumer- or subsistence-based production with different foci of production such as hobby or education aimed production). Urban agriculture can then be technological oriented (e.g., aquaponics) or take a natural agriculture approach (e.g., permaculture). To support the systemic potential of urban agriculture, two major questions arise: 1) Which benefits and risks are connected with different forms of urban agriculture? 2) How can we upscale urban agriculture from a mosaic of single forms of food supply to an edible city approach?

This symposium aims to show up the current international state of art in conceptualizing different types of urban agriculture, evaluating its different multifunctional impacts and ecosystem services as well as developing and evaluating planning strategies for implementing urban agriculture on different scales. A main concern of this session is to reflect on urban agriculture from a systemic perspective considering cities as socio-ecological systems.

The symposium is part of the 10th IALE (International Association for Landscape Ecology) World Congress, taking place from 1st to 5th July 2019 in Milano.

July 1, 2019 - July 5, 2019

University of Milano-Bicocca

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1

20126 Milano, Italy


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