Sustainable urban agriculture is presented here as a solution to provide self-maintaining sustenance while synchronously nurturing positive relationships between humans and their urban environments.
Contemporary urban design beholds varying displays of infrastructure. Because of the wide variety of existing man made structures, sustainable urban agriculture currently displays vast integration potential. Through manipulation of present infrastructure and future architectural design, the opportunity to adopt this paradigm is overwhelming. By engineering the places humans live, work and seek leisure into crop producing compositions, humans can grow an abundant supply of self-sustaining vegetation while decreasing dependence on virtual water importation. These integrations can be achieved in a myriad of ways, ranging from incorporation within parking garages or street medians, to rooftops or warehouses. Since urban environments tend to erect vertical structures, vertical farms contain prominent potential. Vertical farming on existing infrastructure mitigates the land area required to harvest traditional horizontal crops. Climate control within enclosed infrastructure can additionally be utilized within the sustainable urban agricultural system to reduce physical fresh water requirements and supplement additional self-regulated crop yield.
Every fragment of self-sufficiency increases human resilience and therefore, vitality. Questions concerning the economic benefit of urban farming have resulted in its hesitant implementation. The world has gradually transitioned into a position where water has materialized as the principal constraint on properly distributed sustenance, yet most population development is occurring in urban environments with an already scarce supply of fresh water. Hence, extended use of international dependent food commerce explains why large-scale urban farm systems have failed to manifest. Without economic incentive for sustainable adaptation, there is often no choice but to continue increasing international dependencies.
Designing a better future involves envisioning systems that haven’t yet conceived. The transition may not be convenient, or make transparent use of money, capital and labor when food importation is cheaper than developing sustainable processes, yet it is absolutely necessary to establish a stronger link between humans and their life sources. A threated humanity beckons for something greater than the few scattered pilot urban farm projects that have launched around the world. Humanity must adopt a new set of ideological principles that serve to stabilize population development before the continued failure to properly manage environmental transgression overwhelms mankind’s most essential resources. Adaptation to this new set of principles will take both time and determination to achieve; however this paradigm shift is absolutely essential to future anthropic well-being.