Rapid urbanisation in the UK has started to replaced agriculture land with residential development, plus transporting food takes longer to reach the city centre. This increases the amount of pollution and reliance on HGV’s. Moreover, people today rely on supermarkets to supply fresh food, without a thought as to the costs involved. I will look into what Urban Food Production (UFP) is and to understand what it can do to help an ever-growing demand of fresh food, plus how it tackles issues of climate change.
UFP involves growing vegetables, fruit and meat within the city. An example is Hydro and Aquaponics, which grows fish and plants together. This is done by cycling fish waste to grow plants and then the water is passed back into the fish tank (Hawaiian hydro and garden, 2018). This method creates a wide variety of produce, which can be sold at local markets and stores. It also means reducing the travel time minimising the carbon footprint, and helping local stores by lowering overheads.
Hydroponics cycle (1)
Who is it for?
This type of food production is beneficial for people living within dense city areas. To buy local organic food, it’s like having a local farm in the city, promoting cheaper organic food that enhances healthy living. There are downsides to UFP, they could beat competition in rural areas, putting some farms at financial risk. Currently there are very little UFP centres in the UK, as this is a new practice that has yet to entice developers.
How does it work?
A lot of UFP sites are indoors, and use special UV lights in a climate-controlled environment, allowing food can be grown all year round. This is beneficial as the UK winter weather reduces the variety of food depending on the season. Other UFP can be produced on green roofs, this can be implemented on offices and houses allowing food production to be spread more widely across the city.
Inside Grow Bristol’s UFP site (2)
Grow Bristol is an example in the UK, which has been hugely successful in producing micro herbs. Their website also explains the constraints of regular agriculture food costs. As the UK imports 60% of its produce from abroad, which are subject to tariffs and tax. Locally grown food removes these issues by selling to local shops at a cheaper price. They also save on water by recycling it, to grow more food (Grow Bristol, 2018). Overall, the implementation UFP in the future could have wide ranging benefits for communities, as fresh food is a key product needed for healthy living.
Grow Bristol (2018) Smart urban farming: fresh. local. sustainable, [Online] Available at: http://growbristol.co.uk/ [Accessed 19th May 2018]
Hawaiian hydro and garden (2018) Hydro/Aquaponics [Online] Available at: http://www.hawaiianhydroandgarden.com/hydroaquaponics/ [Accessed 19th May 2018]