July 22, 2013

Growing Greener Cities

For the past couple of weeks, the Landscapes Blog has spent a little more time than usual ruminating on population and the ever-growing constraints of a finite planet. With the number of humans pushing past 7.2 billion this year and expected to hit 9.2 billion by 2050, the question of adequate space and resources is a legitimate one. It comes as no surprise, then, that only a few years ago the proportion of people living in more densely populated urban areas exceeded that of rural regions, with that figure expected to surpass 66% by 2050. Some countries, like China, are actively encouraging massive shifts from rural to urban living.

Yet migration to cities in and of itself is not a cure for constrained space; catering to the needs of urban dwellers requires resources, as well, almost always beyond city limits. A growing recognition of this has prompted a wave of more integrated thinking about urban planning, food security and nutrition, and natural resource use. Whether it is planning for urban-rural connectivity, factoring in urban gardening in Africa, or targeting environmentally sustainable production and transportation practices from farm to city, there are many linkages to be made within the system. To further this discussion, the second in our series of Landscape Roundtables brings together a group of experts all tackling the question of how to look beyond city limits to the systems (or ‘foodshed’) scale to build a unified strategy for food security and environmental sustainability.

Add your perspective over the next two weeks by commenting on the guest bloggers’ posts!

Read More: 
Feeding an Urban World: A Call to Action – Chicago Council on Global Affairs

World Economic and Social Survey 2013: Sustainable Development Challenges – Chapter III Towards Sustainable Cities – UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Read the full series:
Taking Root in Cities: An Urban Green Revolution – Mark Redwood

Food and Urban (Socio-Natural) Metabolism – Laura Shillington

Urbanization, Food Security, and Role of City-Regional Planning – Rafael Tuts

Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture for Resilient City-Regional Food Systems – Marielle Dubbeling

A Systems Perspective for Urban Agriculture: Food Security, Livelihoods, and Sustainable Environment – Mary Njenga and Nancy Karanja

Looking Within and Beyond City Limits – Lessons from the Roundtable

Photo Credit: Siddartha Sikdar

1 Comment

  • Roger Leakey
    July 22, 2013 at 2:06pm

    See Living with the Trees of Life – Towards the Transformation of Tropical Agriculture” (Leakey, 2012, published by CABI) for a simple solution to the rehabilitation of degraded farm land; closing the Yield Gap and the sustainable intensification of tropical and sub-tropical agriculture.