Growing Food in Cities

This report shows, through analysis and a wide variety of case studies, that urban agriculture can, in a very practical way, yield a range of benefits.

These include:

  • Community development: by reaffirming community identity, promoting active citizenship, combating age, gender and ethnic discrimination, preventing crime and rehabilitating offenders
  • Economic development: by providing skills training, creating local goods and services, and building an alternative economy
  • Education: by furthering formal learning at school, non-formal education in the community and helping people with special needs
  • Environmental improvement: by increasing biodiversity, tackling waste and reducing transport
  • Health: by improving people's diets, encouraging physical activity and promoting mental health
  • Leisure: by stimulating voluntary action, generating sustainable tourism and developing arts and crafts
  • Sustainable neighbourhoods: by reviving allotments and parks, and regenerating housing developments

Urban food growing projects can face difficulties with access to land, water, money, equipment, knowledge and skills. The report therefore makes a number of recommendations (a summary of these is attached) to policy makers to help ease these problems and, more positively, to encourage and support urban food growing initiatives.

06 Feb 2009