The new issue of the Urban Agriculture Magazine, released today by RUAF in partnership with the European Forum on Urban Agriculture (EFUA) and Rikolto, explores the critical role of urban and periurban agriculture (UPA) in addressing global challenges and its multifunctional benefits beyond food production.
Amidst the global backdrop of the climate crisis and multiple socio-economic challenges, the importance of sustainable and resilient food systems has come into sharp focus. In recent years, urban and periurban agriculture (UPA) has emerged as one powerful solution (among others), offering multifunctional benefits that extend beyond just being a food source. Recognizing the importance of this transition, this issue of the Urban Agriculture Magazine collates experiences and insights that will foster the development of more sustainable and inclusive food systems.
This issue is divided into two distinct – yet complementary – sections. The first section comprises contributions from partners involved in the European Forum on Urban Agriculture (EFUA), a 4-year project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. This collaborative platform brings together researchers, practitioners and interested citizens from all over Europe to explore the benefits of UPA and its role in building sustainable communities. The section features in-depth articles, case studies, interviews with experts, and recommendations to mainstream UPA agendas and programmes.
By examining different geographies and socio-political contexts, this first section facilitates a deeper understanding of the diverse challenges and opportunities in implementing UPA across Europe and provides some inspiring examples of UA policies and strategies in cities outside of Europe, such as New York, Rome, and Baranquilla.
“We believe there is enormous untapped potential to be offered through mainstreaming urban agriculture within European policy and practice; however, this will only be achieved through engaging with new and diverse audiences and through establishing the European Forum on a sustainable and enduring basis.”
Ian Whitehead, EFUA
The second section of the magazine provides updates and insights from projects involving RUAF and its partners. These projects focus on policy experiences with UPA and food systems governance in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
By showcasing initiatives from different regions, the second section highlights the unique challenges faced by cities in low and lower middle income countries – and how they can be overcome. Factors such as limited resources, rapid urbanization, and social inequalities shape the approach to UPA in these contexts and drive policy actions. This section offers valuable insights on how UPA can be adapted to address the specific needs and priorities of diverse communities.
“Urban agriculture has long been a survival strategy for some of the world’s poorest. It is now enjoying a surge of interest from city officials and other stakeholders who are realising its potential contribution to food security and other social and environmental benefits. The time is ripe to harness this interest, to foster cross-learning between contexts, and to develop policies that support food growing in and around cities.”
Jess Halliday, RUAF
In a world where the need for sustainable food systems is more pressing than ever, the 39th edition of the Urban Agriculture Magazine comes at a pivotal moment. By embracing UPA and exploring its multifaceted benefits, it is our hope to inspire knowledge sharing and action to create a future where cities thrive, communities flourish, and action is taken towards a more equitable and resilient system.
The full publication “Enabling Multiple Benefits of Urban Agriculture” can be accessed and downloaded here.