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Urban Agriculture Europe

Author: Frank Lohrberg, Lilli Lička, Lionella Scazzosi, Axel Timpe

Since the creation of the city several 1,000 years ago, a distinction between the rural and the urban has developed. In very general terms, cities are hubs of commerce, trade, finance, education, administration, institutional power, and clergy. In contrast, the rural is a setting of primary production, notably of agricultural products. This distinction has never excluded the idea that agricultural activities take place in the city and on its outskirts. In fact, a surplus-providing Urban Agriculture was a basic premise for the rise of most early cities. Of course, the characteristics of this phenomenon have changed over time; Urban Agriculture is not the same in a developing country metropolis of the twentieth century as in a medieval European city of the thirteenth century. Intense industrialization and territorial specialization broke the connections between the city and its agrarian hinterland. Since the end of the twentieth century, a new interest in reconnecting periurban farming to the city has taken over and resulted in new models of farming incubators. Inside larger European cities, agriculture has changed from the specialized production or subsistence husbandry of the fifteenth century, through the allotment garden movement of industrialization in the nineteenth century, to the community gardens and urban farming laboratories of the twenty-first century.

Organization: Academia/ University
Region: Europe
Areas of focus: Food production and ecosystem management
Tags: Climate adaptation, Resilient cities, Urban and peri-urban agriculture