The pandemic has been lingering in our societies for more than a year now… What if this was not just a global crisis, but also an opportunity to start anew and transform our world in a sustainable way? Discover the role of urban agriculture in a green and resilient recovery.
Weakened Food Systems
According to a United Nations report, 55% of the world’s population currently lives in cities, with this proportion expected to reach 60% by 2030 (1). Feeding such a large number of people in a context of climate change requires diversified and resilient food systems that minimize environmental impacts and promote the restoration of ecosystems.
However, the last few months have revealed the fragility of our food systems through the famous global pandemic. Indeed, food supply chains have been plagued by major disruptions caused by, among other things, limited movement of labor and blockages in international transportation. Border closures, containment measures and other government restrictions have profoundly slowed down exports… Which has particularly weakened the supply chain of a province such as Quebec, where agricultural production is subject to seasonality and therefore depends heavily on imports at certain times of the year.
The food uncertainty caused by the pandemic is calling into question the capacity of our province and country to meet the food needs of its inhabitants, and is prompting reflection on how to achieve a truly resilient society.
Urban Agriculture: A Powerful Lever for Sustainable Recovery
With the coming of vaccination and a possible return to normality soon, many governments and municipalities are now thinking about their recovery plan to get the economy back on track. This time, our societies won’t be caught short again by an unexpected event, and resilience is at the heart of discussions… but so is urban agriculture.
Indeed, urban agriculture offers a sustainable solution to the food dependency of cities and the accessibility of fresh products by promoting shorter supply channels. Studies show that it would be possible to meet the food demand of all the citizens of a city by devoting only 10% of its land to urban agriculture (2). In addition to reducing the carbon footprint of food transportation and supporting the local economy, urban agriculture provides many ecosystem services such as enhancing pollinators and promoting biodiversity.
Municipalities are aware of the benefits of urban agriculture and many, like Montreal, are making urban agriculture an important part of their economic recovery plan (3). Food independence and urban agriculture is one of the 10 key measures in Montreal city’s 2021 recovery plan, and significant funding has already been allocated to support the growth of this sector.
By transforming underutilized urban spaces into nourishing gardens, MicroHabitat is directly addressing this measure and helping to promote the resilience of urban environments. Our urban farms bloom all summer long on the roofs of corporate businesses and institutions willing to invest in their community.
Do you also want to contribute to a green, sustainable and socially beneficial recovery?
Join the Microhabitat adventure and cultivate change with us!
(1) United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). The World’s Cities in 2018—Data Booklet (ST/ESA/SER.A/417).
(2) Santo, Raychel, Anne Palmer, and Brent Kim. 2016. Vacant Lots to Vibrant Plots: A Review of the Benefits and Limitations of Urban Agriculture. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
(3) Montréal, Ville de. “Plan De Relance Économique 2021.” Bienvenue Sur Montréal.ca.