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During the progress of several projects in this semester, I found lots of case studies about urban farm and I am really interested in it. As Manning said, “the relationship between food and the city is fascinating” (Manning, 2016). People’s demand for food grows with the development of urbanism, so the amount of “growing space”, such as allotments, back gardens or farm land have increased a lot.

Originally, the concept of “urban agriculture” was created for relieving the stress of rapid urbanization. For example, in Shanghai, one of the most famous global city. Result from the rapid expansion of the city, agriculture contributes only 2% for the GPD (Gross Domestic Product) and its development is slower than all the other economic sectors. (Cai and Zhang, 1999). So currently, Shanghai encourages the developers focus on both the livability and the productivity during the development of a farm land. Because continuous people moving to the urban area creates great pressure to the urban area, the facilities and resources are no longer enough for the increasing amount of population, especially the food supplement. Many of these cities rely on the input food supply which caused higher cost of food for the urban people.

Apart from the urgency of food supply, urban agriculture is recently developed into urban scheme. More restaurants provide a side for customers to plant herbs their own and then chef will use them as the ingredients for their meals. It is a kind of “farm-to-table” scheme that transferring the ingredient from the farm land to table directly without and production. This is helpful for the customers making sure the food security and fresh.

Fig 1: Segev Kitchen Garden Restaurant

Furthermore, it becomes popular that residence plant on the roof and balcony or other areas where are around their living area for getting food materials. In Hong Kong, there is a community called Rooftop Republic. This community has many interest project with farms all over the city. Andrew Tsui who is a co-founder of this community indicates that rooftop farm is for re-connecting city dwellers with one another, together with enjoying the fun of farming. (Hill, 2016). And it is helpful to reconnect busy city people with the food they are eating everyday as well.

Fig 2: Roof Plant



Gurin, Y. (2015). Segev Kitchen Garden Restaurant. [image] Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].

Hill, R. (2016). Hong Kong’s rooftop farmers grow vegetables… and communities. [online] Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].

Hill, R. (2016). Roof Plant. [image] Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2017].

Manning, J. (2016). food and the city. URBAN DESIGN, (140), p.15.

2 responses to “Food and the City”

  1. In this post, Sharon is talking about the importance of urban agriculture or urban farming. She highlights some important issues because of which we need urban farming. Like, lack of agricultural land because of a rapidly growing concrete jungle is one of the key issues. Another one she is talking about is the migration of people from villages to the cities which is more of a social issue indirectly related to this cause.

    Because of a bad financial situation, many farmers migrate to cities to find new jobs and opportunities which further decreases production of food and as she says it is one of the main causes for rising prices for grains and vegetables. Most of the big cities have to import raw food products from outside the country on which they have to pay more taxes. Urban farming is not just about providing small allotments and farmland in the urban environment but it also about to use new techniques of growing food without using more horizontal space or extra materials. Like Hydroponics and vertical farming.

    We can see so many buildings started installing vertical green walls on both interior and exterior facades on which they grown some fruits and herbs. As Sharon says this also works well to decrease the carbon footprint of the building and saving the energy by working as insulation. All these small walls and green roofs play a very important role together to create the more sustainable urban environment. Like this urban farming also provides fresh food products and good environment to live in.

  2. Sharon discussed about urban agriculture in her blog, which is an interesting topic. She mention that urban agriculture is the by-product of urbanisation. She argue that people’s demand for food grows along with the process of urbanisation, therefore spaces such as allotments, back gardens or farm land had increased in a great amount.

    The sector of agriculture often being ignore during the process of urbanisation because of it low profit in comparison to other sector. This had bring a directly impact to the cost of food supply in urban area. All of the food was imported had caused the price of the food increase and also decrease in quality due to long transportation. The growth of urban agriculture could raise the awareness of the important of food supply sector and could slow down the pressure of food supply.

    I personally think that, urban agriculture is an great idea that could solve the problem of food supply. In additional, increase amount of green space in urban area could increase the overall quality of the surrounding. Beside that this had work out successfully in European country, hopefully this idea could commonly being seen on Asia country.

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Planning and Landscape
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