An In-depth Analysis of Urban Agricultural Benefits and the Influence of City Farmer Vancouver
By Finley Wheeler
UBC Sustainable Agriculture final paper
Conclusion: Summary of Findings
The viability of widespread urban agriculture is highly influenced by the number of people it has the power to reach in combination with the opportunity to bridge the rural-urban divide while addressing global food production needs. Targeting the mass of people that live in cities – educating them, initiating project creation, and equipping them with the tools and resources to grow and produce a portion of their own food offers an effective solution to our growing global food needs. As the world’s city populations continue to increase, this becomes more prominent, and the opportunity to target city-folk with food literacy and urban agricultural knowledge also, as a result, increases.
Local organizations like City Farmer Vancouver have the unique opportunity to be the drivers of this societal shift in mentality towards a deeper, closer connection with our food, as well as to push the integration of urban agricultural practices into daily lifestyles. The benefits that integrating urban agriculture and the teachings of food systems literacy can have on urban society are endless. Furthermore, these local entities have the ability to increase knowledge, create awareness, and inspire a sustainable shift by educating students, and influencing youth at a young age to respect the environment and incorporate agroecological concepts into their daily living.
The benefits of urban agriculture are wide-spreading and continue to grow. If done right, urban agriculture can provide environmental, psychological, and social benefits to individuals within a community (Brown & Jameton, 2000). Advantages include proximity (urban farms are grown in city centers and other densely populated areas, so they’re closer to their consumers), accessibility (there is an increase in food security by providing inexpensive and fresh produce to the community), adaptability (urban farms can be found in many forms, for example, a rooftop, an empty warehouse, or a sidewalk planter, etc.), they also save space, provide low-risk food production, and address local demand that continues to shift towards a community-focused mentality (Wise, 2021). Psychological benefits can also come as a result of urban agriculture and include increased community connection, stress relief, and increased spiritual connection with nature (Brown & Jameton, 2000).
It is evident that continuing along our current food-production path will lead to significant resource depletion and unacceptable environmental impacts (Lewis, 2021). Our path forward must be rooted in grassroots food movements that strive for a democratic food system, one that involves inputs from citizens as well as producers (Kneen, 2012). Integrating concepts like food literacy into urban agriculture, under the guidance and influence of local organizations like City Farmer Vancouver, can and will play an instrumental role in shaping the future of our food production and consumption system. The responsibility now lies with our society to make knowledge-driven, environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to food production/consumption – ultimately, urban agriculture has the power to create a desired sustainable change in how our future food system functions.
See the complete paper below.
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