Urban farming is a practical way to create jobs in London and address the city's economic, environmental, and health-related objectives. Growing food locally can reduce the carbon footprint of London's food system by shortening its supply chain, increase the resilience of the food system to crises, and provide a healthy and accessible alternative to processed foods. Moreover, urban agriculture can improve the physical health of producers through the effort involved in growing and harvesting, and mental health can be maintained through a better connection with nature and greater community cohesion. The potential links between London's policies on urban farming and certain economic goals of the city are explored. Despite the strengthening of its current food system and the challenges of expanding urban agriculture within its borders, there are many reasons to strive to grow food in London.
The transport networks needed to import food from around the world to London are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Imported foods often come from questionable sources whose impact, whether ethical, environmental or social, is difficult to verify. When growing food in London, it's easier to keep track of agricultural environmental practices and worker conditions. Urban agriculture would also help alleviate some health problems. Food grown in London could offer a healthy and accessible alternative to processed foods or foods grown with pesticides and hormones.
The proximity to large areas of housing means that urban agriculture can make sustainable use of wastewater and solid waste in food production, which can minimize conflicts over the use of fresh water in cities and reduce the demand for water in general food production. Globally, the majority of urban farmers are women (approximately 65%, van Veenhuizen 200); therefore, urban agriculture also contributes to reducing inequality and power imbalances between men and women. Fresh foods grown in urban areas can generally be consumed more quickly after harvest, which also improves nutritional content (Shewfelt 1990). The increase in plant and animal diversity in urban areas as a result of agriculture can also lead to an increase in the provision of ecosystem services, such as pollination and pest control, which are vital for food production (Synergy with G2; Zero Hunger). This case study illustrates, for the first time, the mass and value of food that can be produced from urban agriculture in a city, such as Brighton and Hove, and the proportion of that value provided by pollinators. In general, urban areas have limited levels of biodiversity (Lin and Fuller 201); however, the rich diversity of plants that is deliberately cultivated in urban gardens and gardens (Colding et al.
As mentioned above, urban agriculture usually involves more agroecological production methods and more labor, but less use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, whose production represents a large proportion of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with agriculture (Synergy with G13 Climate Action, Lal 2004; the United States Environmental Protection Agency, 200), and contributes to environmental pollution and damage to wildlife (Synergy with G15 Life on Land, Pisa et al. This section provides a summary of the contributions of urban agriculture to each objective, represented concisely in Table 2.