It is estimated that by 2050, the Earth’s population will have grown by 3 billion. As much as 80 per cent of the people will live in cities – currently, already about 50 percent do. In order to feed everyone, we will need additional farmland with an area of Brazil and Libya combined. But where will we find these new fields? How much more carbon dioxide emitted by trucks transporting spinach and lettuce to cities will our atmosphere accommodate? One solution is growing vegetables in urban wastelands, on balconies, walls and roofs. Urban agriculture is not going to solve the world’s food supply problem, but it will certainly help local communities, while significantly changing the appearance of our cities.
Chicago Honey Co-op
The apiary is located in an abandoned parking lot in a Chicago neighbourhood that suffered major damage during race riots in the 1960s. Since 2004, this co-op of beekeeper-volunteers has been working in accordance with the principles of sustainable development to produce chemical-free honey and honey-based cosmetics, while organising job training programs for local residents.
A public vegetable garden in The Hague, designed by the British artist Nils Norman. Situated in the centre of this urban farm is a pavilion which is a place to rest, a storage space for tools, and an information point for visitors. Around the pavilion, there are examples of eco-friendly gardening installations such as a composting toilet and a willow water filter.
Urban Physic Garden
A temporary medicinal herb garden, with a cafe and a rich programme of cultural events, built out of recycled materials by a group of volunteers on an abandoned site in south London. Open from 11 June to 15 August 2011.
Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin
An organic garden made up of moveable vegetable planting boxes. Located in Berlin/Kreuzberg, in an area which had been an urban wasteland for more than half a century. The non-profit Nomadisch Grün (Nomadic Green) organisation along with a group of enthusiasts, activists, friends, fans and neighbours created the garden.