Food for the city - from the city
Whereas the number of people living in cities worldwide is continually growing, the already scarce area used for growing food and resources has been steadily shrinking. This disparity, however, can be partly bridged by urban farming, the practice of growing food in cities and urban areas. Fraunhofer IAO has published a study investigating how cities could benefit from locally grown food and resources, looking at indoor plant and microalgae cultivation.
Urban farming – a long-term phenomenon
The study focuses on indoor plant production and microalgae cultivation, looking specifically at artificial lighting technologies, sensor technology and automated processes; the environmental impacts associated with the use of renewable energy, pesticides and land resources; economic factors such as initial investment and operating costs, as well as currently used financing models and social considerations, such as the provision of new jobs and vocational training. The study also examines the challenges and objectives of existing initiatives and general market trends in both segments.
Urban farming: the path toward more sustainable and future-oriented urban development
Urban farming is expected to grow in cities of heavily urbanized countries with limited surrounding agricultural areas, such as Japan or Singapore, and in countries suffering from high levels of air pollution and soil depletion. By 2050, more than 66 percent of the world’s population, approximately 6 billion people, will live in cities – making it ever more difficult to provide food to all. To address this challenge, more resources are required, along with greater investment in urban farming and food production, the development and testing of alternative financing strategies, interdisciplinary training, and targeted research and development.
Urban farming and closed resource cycles are not short-term phenomena, which is why holistic, locally adapted and sustainable system solutions are essential. The Urban Farming study (in English) presents an overview of current developments and trends, providing interested cities and companies with initial insights into this rapidly growing and changing sector. This manual is also a source of information for scientists and decision-makers working towards the development of autonomous, integrated and sustainable urban food and resource systems.
The study is available here: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-506944.html.
About Fraunhofer IAO
Digital technologies are transforming our working world with profound effects on business and society. Digitalization modernizes and revolutionizes long-established practices and processesIn the blink of an eye. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO works together with companies and public-sector bodies and institutions to develop strategies, business models and solutions for digital transformation.
Fraunhofer IAO, Marielisa Padilla
Phone +49 711 970 2142
Fraunhofer IAO, Sophie Mok
Phone +49 7111 970 2142
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