The world population is growing, and furthermore are our cities. Already today more than half of the world’s population live in cities and is expected to grow to 2/3 of the world’s population in 2050! Although this transition can bring many positive changes, it also means that people feel less and less connected to the food they eat and with less understanding for where it comes from.
Urban community farming in big cities
Urban community farming is changing this, and it does not only help increasing the connectivity to food, but also provides many other social and environmental advantages! Urban farming changes a city from being a complete ‘food desert’, which besides ensuring better food security also makes a lot of sense from an environmental perspective by significantly reducing transportation, packaging and energy required for food production and distribution.
Urban farming is very energy efficient
Many urban community farms furthermore follow permaculture principles, saying that the farming/gardening should be as energy efficient as possible: using existing resources, collecting rainwater and making compost and thereby returning the nutrients which were harvested with the food, back to the soil – overall conserving the resources we have as sustainable as possible!
Cities become greener
Urban farms can enhance the social wellbeing of people living in the city by creating green spaces where people can relax and connect with each others. And with urban community gardens, this social wellbeing is especially in focus. Urban gardening projects are about creating a network and integrating the community, and they often also have educational purposes to increase awareness on food production, knowledge on natural foods and how to preserve them. So to sum up, urban farms are all about good news! Luckily we find urban farms in all the cities Green Bike Tours is in; Copenhagen, Malmö and soon Berlin, we have many amazing examples of urban farming!
Urban gardens in Copenhagen
Even in cold Denmark, with proper planning, a variety of vegetables can grow all year around! And what is better than eating the fruits and vegetables we have grown ourselves? One of the first urban farming projects DYRK Nørrebro was started in March 2011 and since then more gardens have emerged in Copenhagen. These even contribute to Copenhagen’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2025! – in fact, there is a green roof policy ensuring that all new building with slopes less than 30 degrees should have vegetation. So there is definitely a large potential for even more urban gardens in Copenhagen. One of the most amazing examples of urban farming that we know of, is the community shared agriculture (CSA) farm ØsterGRO in Copenhagen. It’s a 600 m2 organic rooftop garden, which has existed since 2014 and also contains a small family-style dinner restaurant with amazing view of the garden and Copenhagen from above. The farm produce a wide range of organic vegetables, as well as their own honey and eggs, which currently is delivered to its 40 members which contribute financially and/or by working themselves in the farm. Their contract with the families are also not based on a pre-determined outcome, but rather it’s a contract based on equal understanding and trust, so the families will receive all the farms yield – nothing more, nothing less and thus nothing goes to waste. You can check out Østergro with us on our tour 3 in Copenhagen “The local urban vibe and social sustainability tour – see it right here: www.greenbiketours.org