Report: Urban Agriculture in North America
In the last couple decades, urban agriculture has gained momentum across cities, and it is no longer just a grassroots endeavor led by activists. Various stakeholders are interested in implementing urban agriculture in North American cities.
This study delves into the development of and trends in urban agriculture in the United States and Canada. The popularity of urban agriculture is attributed to several factors, including health and nutrition, food security and transparency, education, urban sustainability, and the growing demand for local food.
The beauty of urban agriculture is that it has benefits across social, environmental and economic realms; meaning that it can contribute to community empowerment, urban greening and job creation, for example, simultaneously. There is no doubt that growing food in and around the city is gaining popularity at the ground level, on rooftops, in greenhouses and inside buildings at varying degrees of capital, technology, community involvement, and organizational structure.
However, this vast inclusion of the definition of urban agriculture is also a barrier, making it difficult to quantify its impact and define its business model. In addition, barriers of political support, zoning laws, start-up costs, security of land tenure, and appropriate distribution systems also pose challenging for urban agriculture to thrive in the city and compete with other land uses. Nonetheless,20governments, entrepreneurs, non-profits, venture capitalists, researchers, etc. are working on dissolving these barriers to make way for local food production.
As urban agriculture continues to sprout in North America, there exists a market for agricultural systems. The goal of this research is to determine what the market demand from urban agriculture is and what technologies and expertise the Netherlands can offer to satisfy this demand. This paper concludes that the Netherlands can best play a role in the high-tech urban agriculture realm supplying controlled environment growing systems and/or systems that facilitate urban sustainability in combination with urban agriculture.