Understanding Urban Agriculture Production Technology

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There is an increasing recognition of the potential importance of urban agriculture. By 2050 69% of the world population will be living in urban areas, 86% in the developed world.

This will create pressures on essentials like energy, food and water. Using Google’s Earth Engine software, as well as population, meteorological, and other datasets, researchers determined that, if fully implemented in cities around the world, urban agriculture could produce as much as 180 million metric tons of food a year or perhaps 10% of the global output of legumes, roots and tubers, and vegetable crops.

Besides promoting local food production and consumption, urban agriculture contributes to disaster prevention, maintenance of landscapes, citizens’ understanding of agriculture, children’s education, and the social welfare of urban dwellers.

Urban agriculture also performs several ecosystem services including reduction of the urban heat-island effect.

Researchers estimated that taken together, these benefits make urban agriculture worth as much as USD160 billion per year globally, and fully realised urban agriculture could provide as much as 15 billion kilowatt hours of annual energy savings worldwide.

It could also sequester up to 170,000 tons of nitrogen and prevent as much as 57 billion cubic meters of storm water runoff, a major source of pollution in rivers and streams.

In Japan, for example, there are over 63,000 of these parcels of land with a total area of over 13,442 hectares scattered throughout the country, but mostly concentrated in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Researchers hope that the multiple benefits of urban agriculture will encourage other scientists, as well as urban planners and local leaders, to begin to take it more seriously as a potential force for sustainability.


This courses covers:

  • Technology roadmap for urban agriculture
  • The technologies that are currently put to test in different parts of the world
  • Which of these technologies have potential to scale
  • Reviewing different technologies that are currently