“The ultimate aim is to produce an evidence base for researchers and policy makers on the potential and impact of radical ‘rurbanisation’, and a ‘Rurban Roadmap’ on how the transformation could take place,” said Jess.
By Nigel Barlow
March 3, 2019
Could we transform UK food production by radically upscaling fruit and veg growing in our towns and cities? And would urban agriculture make us, and our environment, healthier?
A new £800,000 study, led by Lancaster University, with researchers from Cranfield University and the University of Liverpool, aims to answer these questions.
“With a big growth in urban populations projected, there’s a lot of talk about the potential of urban agriculture,” said Dr Jess Davies, a lecturer in sustainability at the Lancaster Environment Centre and principal investigator on the project.
“Previous studies have suggested that the UK could be an urban agriculture hot spot, but there are huge gaps in our knowledge about how much we could produce, and the impact on our health, our communities and our ecosystems,” said Dr Davies.
“We have a food system where people are disconnected from the food they eat. There is a lot of research on high tech urban agriculture options, but this hasn’t become a widespread reality yet. There is a community-driven bottom-up approach to growing food that is going on in our cities, but it’s currently assumed that this can’t provide food at the scale required.
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