Urban farming has become increasingly popular in recent years, as people have become more aware of the advantages it can bring to their local communities. From providing green spaces and recreational activities to improving food security and reducing flood risk, urban farms can have a positive effect on the lives of those living in cities. In this article, we will explore how urban farms can extend beyond just food production and provide a range of benefits to local communities in London. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having access to local food sources.
Long commutes to work and high rates of train congestion have been a problem in suburban Tokyo, but remote workers have gained more time in and around their homes by reducing travel time and increasing their opportunities to access local food in their neighborhoods where they can walk. Home gardening and urban agriculture can help promote food and nutrition security in response to the pandemic. Urban farms can also help mitigate flood risk and improve the lifespan and resilience of flood defences. Green spaces can absorb storm flows and free up water storage capacity in existing infrastructure, reducing the risk of damage to urban property. When integrated into a food supply network, these sites can greatly improve food security and help in times of crisis such as the current pandemic.
Unused spaces, such as vacant land and rooftops, can be used as productive urban landscapes.
Combining the power of citizen science volunteers with the efforts of urban farmers can result in a clearer picture of the diversity and ecosystem services at stake, limiting the use of insecticides, and improving non-chemical alternatives. In both iNaturalist and eButterfly, a producer can have their own account to record the data and photographs of their observations made over the years on their farm and in the community. Urban farms can also increase appreciation for nature conservation and provide educational value as a means of engaging people in the conservation of the environment in general. Maintaining and increasing urban green spaces in urban centers and high-density residential areas will generate multiple benefits, such as storm flow attenuation and water filtration. The concept of walkable neighborhoods, where people can access basic urban services at accessible distances on foot (for example, during the pandemic, local farms) have also served as a food collection point and have been able to deliver food to organizations that might have had difficulty acquiring it. Urban agriculture in walkable neighborhoods paid off for the health and resilience of the food system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, they are not appropriate for this article, since the purpose of this study was to understand the concerns related to the diet of urban residents, rich and poor alike, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, urban farms offer a range of benefits beyond just food production. From providing green spaces and recreational activities to improving food security and mitigating flood risk, urban farms can have a positive impact on local communities in London. By combining citizen science volunteers with urban farmers, we can create a clearer picture of the diversity and ecosystem services at stake, while also increasing appreciation for nature conservation.