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Development of adequate technologies for urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is performed under specific conditions that require technologies different to those used in the rural context. Such specific conditions include among others: limited availability of space and the high price of urban land, proximity to large numbers of people and thus a need for safe production methods , use of urban resources organic waste and wastewater , and possibilities for direct producer-consumer contacts.

Most available agricultural technologies need adaptation for use in these conditions whilst new technologies have to be developed to respond to specific urban needs e. Also more coordination between research institutes, agricultural extension organisations, NGOs and groups of urban farmers could be promoted. Special attention is to be given to introduction of ecological farming practices like integrated pest and disease management, ecological soil fertility management, soil and water conservation, etc.

The national urban agriculture programme in Cuba undertakes ample practical research to develop technology appropriate for the urban conditions e.

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The Botswana policy paper on urban agriculture urges research and extension institutions to develop and disseminate technologies with and to small-scale urban farmers. The following technologies are mentioned: a adaptable cultivars e. Enhancing access to water, inputs and basic infrastructure.

Also access to year round supply of low cost water is of crucial importance in urban agriculture as well access to composted or fresh organic materials and other sources of nutrients like wastewater. Municipalities can play an important role in enhancing access of urban farmers to water and production inputs. The city of Bulawayo Zimbabwe provides treated wastewater to poor urban farmers in community gardens, while the city of Tacna Peru agreed to provide urban farmers its treated wastewater in return for their assistance to maintain public green areas.

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The City of Gaza Palestinian Authority promotes the reuse of grey household water in home and community gardens. Mexico City Mexico promotes systems for rainwater collection and storage, construction of wells and the establishment of localised water efficient irrigation systems e. The municipality of Cape Town assist community garden groups with basic infrastructure a fence, a tool shed, a tank and hoses for irrigation and allows them to use up to a certain amount of piped water daily free of charge.

The city of Havana facilitates adequate supply of quality seeds, natural fertilizers and bio-pesticides in small quantities to urban farmers through a network of local stores and is supporting the establishment of decentralised low-cost facilities for compost production and the installation of composting toilets.

Enhancing access of urban farmers to credit and finance. Improvement of the access of urban farmers to credit and finance with an emphasis on women-producers and the resource poor farmers is very much needed. Municipalities can stimulate e. In Brasilia FD Brazil , the PROVE programme provided the urban producer associations with a non-monetary guarantee in the form of "Mobile Agro-industries" metal frames that can be transported on a truck. Since these frames are mobile and durable, they can be used as collateral for a commercial loan. The inclusion of urban agriculture in the municipal budget is also an essential component in the promotion of urban agriculture activities.

In many cities, the City Council allocates resources to support its policy and programme on urban agriculture infrastructure development, training, marketing support, start-up kits, etcetera. Facilitate direct- marketing. Due to the low status of urban agriculture and the usual exclusive focus on food imported from rural areas and the exterior, the creation of infrastructure for direct local marketing of fresh urban produced food and local small processing of locally produced food has received little attention in most cities.

An example is Brasilia D. Supporting micro-enterprise development. In Ghana, the Tema Municipality cooperated with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the establishment of a milk collection system in order to encourage dairying in the peri-urban areas of Tema. Rather than restricting urban agriculture out of fear - often unspecified — of health and environmental risks associated with urban agriculture, cities —instead- better design a series of accompanying measures to reduce these risks.

The following measures are regularly recommended to prevent eventual risks associated with urban agriculture:. Improved coordination between health, agriculture and environmental departments. In Kampala, Uganda, health, agricultural and town planning specialists closely cooperated in the development of the new ordinances on urban agriculture livestock and fisheries.

In Kumasi, Ghana, small kits have been made available to various local organisations to periodically test the quality of the irrigation water. The Accra working group on urban agriculture, with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly as a member, has drafted revised by laws on the use of waste water and support an awareness campaign on health risk minimisation strategies in production and marketing Farm to Fork of urban vegetables.

The Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation of Peru MVCS is formulation of policy guidelines for the promotion of productive use of treated wastewater in intra- and peri-urban agriculture and recreational use of wastewater irrigation of parks and other public green areas. Health considerations when zoning urban agriculture. Many cities identify zones where certain types of urban agriculture are allowed often defining required management practices and other types are excluded due to expected negative effects in the given local circumstances in order to reduce health and environmental risks.

When preparing such a zoning and related regulations, factors like population density, the ecological sensitivity of the area concerned, closeness to polluting industry, closeness to sources of drinking water, etc. Furthermore, the available means to enforce the zonification and related regulations should be taken into account.

A city may want to avoid free roaming cattle and major concentrations of stall-fed dairy cattle or piggeries in central districts traffic, bad smells, flies, waste management problems. Also proper location of crop fields in relation to sources of contamination is important in order to reduce the effects of air pollution. Within meters of a main road, leafy vegetables could better be avoided; production of food crops close to industries that emit certain toxic elements should be discouraged. Farmers education on the management of health and environmental risks. Health risks associated with urban farming can be reduced substantially if farmers are made well aware of these risks and know how to prevent them.

Untreated wastewater preferably should not be used for food crops especially not fresh leafy vegetables , but may be used for growing trees or shrubs, crops for industrial use and other non-edible plants ornamentals, flowers. In Xochimilco, Mexico, urban producers have shifted from vegetable growing to a lucrative floriculture when untreated canal waters became unfit for food growing. In Hyderabad, India, farmers shifted from production of paddy to fodder grass production, when river water that is used for irrigation, gradually became more polluted.

Food fish farmers in Bangkok, facing increasing pollution and food safety problems, were stimulated to switch to ornamental fish production. Vegetable producers in Ho Chi Minh City have begun cultivating ornamental plants for the urban middle class to reduce the risks of growing vegetables with wastewater.

Municipalities in Ghana, Jordan and Senegal are field testing the various methods and procedures proposed by WHO to reduce risk of use of wastewater in urban agriculture in situations where comprehensive wastewater treatment is too expensive and not feasible in the near term as common in many cities in the South. Training of food vendors and consumers. During production, processing and marketing crops can get contaminated. Access to clean water and sanitation facilities in markets should be provided and food-hygiene training is to be provided to small food processors and vendors.

Consumers need to be educated regarding washing or scraping of crops, heating of milk and meat products and securing hygienic conditions during food handling. They also need education regarding the importance of fresh nutritious foods and medicinal herbs and their preparation also in relation to HIV-AIDS. A FAO project on making street foods safer, among others in Dakar Senegal, is training food vendors, food inspectors and consumers in food hygiene issues.

In Accra, Ghana, a multi-partner project resulted in the training of more than 3, street food vendors on improved hygiene practices as well as increased consumer awareness. Prevention of industrial pollution of soils and water by industry. Contamination of soils, rivers and streams by industry is a growing obstacle to safe urban food production. Separation of city waste residential and office areas and industrial waste streams and treatment of industrial wastes at the source should be promoted. In areas where contamination might occur e.

There are already encouraging examples in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam of relocation and zoning of urban industries to industrial parks which allow for more effective treatment and monitoring of effluents. In the medium term, enforcing existing pollution control legislation to control contaminants at their source and monitoring and regulation of industrial wastewater discharge in public water sources can be effective in reducing health risks. A growing number of cities are designing policies and programmes on urban agriculture, applying multi-stakeholder planning approaches to identify effective ways to integrate urban agriculture into urban sector policies and urban land use planning and to facilitate the development of safe and sustainable and multi-functional urban agriculture.

Urban agriculture has the potential to become a dynamic economic sector that quickly adapts to changing urban conditions and demands, intensifying its productivity and diversifying its functions for the city. The sustainability of urban agriculture is closely related to its contributions to the development of a sustainable and resilient city that is socially inclusive, food-secure, productive and environmentally-healthy. Previous Pause Next. Get involved. Urban agriculture: what and why? Content of this page: What is urban agriculture?

Why urban agriculture? In each city a further specification of urban agriculture is possible by looking at the following dimensions: Types of actors involved. Large part of the people involved in urban agriculture is the urban poor. Contrary to general belief they are often not recent immigrants from rural areas since the urban farmer needs time to get access to urban land, water and other productive resources.

In many cities, one will often also find lower and mid-level government officials, school teachers and the like involved in agriculture, as well as richer people who are seeking a good investment for their capital. Women constitute an important part of urban farmers, since agriculture and related processing and selling activities, among others, can often be more easily combined with their other tasks in the household. It is however more difficult to combine it with urban jobs that require travelling to the town centre, industrial areas or to the houses of the rich. Types of location.

Urban agriculture may take place in locations inside the cities intra-urban or in the peri-urban areas. The activities may take place on the homestead on-plot or on land away from the residence off-plot , on private land owned, leased or on public land parks, conservation areas, along roads, streams and railways , or semi-public land schoolyards, grounds of schools and hospitals. Types of products grown. Urban agriculture includes food products, from different types of crops grains, root crops, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits and animals poultry, rabbits, goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, guinea pigs, fish, etc.

Often the more perishable and relatively high-valued vegetables and animal products and by-products are favoured. Production units in urban agriculture in general tend to be more specialised than rural enterprises, and exchanges are taking place across production units. Types of economic activities. Urban agriculture includes agricultural production activities as well as related processing and marketing activities as well as inputs e. In urban agriculture, production and marketing tend to be more closely interrelated in terms of time and space than for rural agriculture, thanks to greater geographic proximity and quicker resource flow.

A morphometric characterization was carried out in the pores to analyse the distribution of sizes, shape and inclination, in order to assess quality and degradation level resulting from human activities. Samples were collected in the surface layer using cylindrical PVC samples, diameter x height of 5 x 5 cm for the US, and 7. A 3 x 3 x 3 Gaussian filter was applied to minimize the noises in the images. Segmentation is the process of distinguishing the regions of interest from the rest of the image.

For this study, the region of interest is the soil porous space, and images were segmented into voids and non-voids. The entire process of image segmentation was executed in the ImageJ 1. These limits were adopted to locate a multimodal histogram, which can be modeled as a mixture of Gaussians. Since this histogram represents only pure voxels, each Gaussian is associated with one phase of the sample, either voids, matrix or rock fragments, where radiodensity distributions were identified for each phase, through the mean and variance of their respective Gaussians.


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Voids were analysed using the Particle Analyzer plug-in, present in the ImageJ. This plug-in associates ellipsoids to the voids, providing data such as volume of voxels pixels 3 , superficial area pixels 2 , coordinates and size of the reference ellipsoid axes, for instance. The volume of one void mm 3 was calculated by multiplying the volume in pixel 3 or voxel by the image resolution voxel size , according to Eq.

For US, voxel size was 0. L-type voids were considered as inter-aggregate voids, while voids classified as M and P were considered as the intraaggregate voids Costa et al. Intra-aggregates were classified according to shape, size and inclination. Parameters such as position in the ellipsoid of the shorter axis Sh , intermediate axis In and longer axis Lg were calculated by the Particle Analyzer plug-in. The shape was classified according to the classification of Zingg and terminologies adopted by Bullock et al.

Due to the complexity of some pores, the plug-in used may not be able to count the voxels constituting one of its axes, making it impossible to determine the shape. These voids were then classified as Without Classification WC. Intra-aggregate voids were grouped according to size into microvoids, mesovoids and macrovoids, and subclassified as very wide vw , wide w , medium md , narrow n and very narrow vn Passoni et al.

Such sub-classification was performed through a correlation with the volumes occupied by soil grains, such as gravel, sand and silt, according the diameter of an equivalent sphere of these grains, based on classification criteria adopted by Passoni et al. Pore inclination was determined based on Taina et al. According to Pagliai et al. Hence, the US can be considered as compact, whereas the RS is highly porous. Reduction in porosity, especially in macroporosity, leads to a reduction in the infiltration rate. The volume distribution curve for the intra-aggregate voids of the soils is presented in Figure 1.

In a curve of this type, its inclination is directly related to the diversity of pores existing in each type of soil, and higher inclination represents greater diversity Ribeiro et al. Therefore, the RS showed higher inclination, consequently greater diversity of pores. The pore distribution curve of US has lower inclination and is concentrated in the lower part of Figure 1 , characterizing lower diversity in pore size due to a predominance of larger pores.

These types of pores, with diameter larger than 0. Lower percentage of transmission pores and higher percentage of pores with volume larger than mdMeso may indicate a difficulty for plant development in the US. In addition, it was observed an inversion of the cumulative distribution curve of pore volumes in the US compared with RS , with higher percentages of voids up to 0. This behavior, according to Lipiec et al. Both limits that can be analysed are larger than 1. The presence of these voids may be an indication of soil quality, because they are related to biological activities in this environment Carducci et al.

Hence, the US may exhibit a more deficient development of plants and animals, compared with the RS. According to Arasan et al. Voids without classification may be related to the complexity of pore shape, being associated with root development, wetting and drying cycles, human actions and biota Pires et al. The US showed lower pore complexity, which may result from its greater compaction, leading to lower root development and reduction in water infiltration rate.

Pore horizontality indicates higher resistance to root penetration, i.


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  • X-ray computed microtomography in the evaluation of the porous system of soils;
  • Pore verticality is associated with a soil without physical barriers for root proliferation or activities of animals, such as earthworms. Pore inclination and tortuosity represent the need for root branching in the search for nutrients and water. In addition, pore inclination is strongly related to water infiltration in the soil; horizontal pores, especially on soil surface, lead to a significant reduction in water infiltration Jassogne et al. In RS, the predominance of these types of voids is due to the presence of clay bands, also called lamellae, which are horizontal, thin, discontinuous, clay-rich layers associated or not with Fe oxides Almeida et al.

    In the US, this horizontality of voids results from the compaction of this medium, due to the need to increase its resistance. Compared with the rural soil, the urban soil showed lower percentage of inter-aggregate voids and higher percentage of intra-aggregate voids, with low diversity of pore size. The urban soil showed higher percentages of flattened pores, round pores and horizontal voids, in comparison to the rural soil.

    X-ray computed microtomography allowed to identify, non-invasively, the differences between the porous space structures of an urban soil and a rural soil, evidencing that the urban soil is more compacted than the rural soil. Almeida, A. Arasan, S. Local Government Management Board et al. National Council for Voluntary Organisations. New York University Press. Rowman and Littlefield. Issue 2. Cambridge MA. Agyeman, J Review of Thomashow, M.

    Local Environment Vol. New York and London. Agyeman, J. October 13 February 7 The Boston Globe.

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    January 15 January Guyader, H and Agyeman, J Racial discrimination and the sharing economy — what does the research tell us? January 2nd. Political Anthropologist May 8. Social Science Research Council. Geographical Magazine. February Town and Country Planning. Vol 69 No 11 p Vol 69 No 1 p