Is UA generally good for the environment ?
Yes, Urban Agriculture is, with doubt, good for the environment for a whole host of reasons;
In addition to the question of demand for healthy and locally grown food, UA often reduces the need for lengthy supply chains. It effectively reduces “food miles” as consumption is frequently located closer to the point of production. This is important, in turn, for reducing the negative impacts of transportation; particularly through air pollution and C02 production.
UA can also provide important greenspaces within urban centres. These can provide wide ranging benefits both for people, landscape and biodiversity. Community gardens and traditional allotments, for example, can create rich habitats for pollinating insects such as bees, hoverflies and butterflies. These in turn provide a food source for animals and birds higher up the food chain, thus supporting the web of life.
Urban gardens help to conserve agri-diversity in urban areas such as old varieties of fruit trees or unusual cultivars which are unique to the local area.
Urban Agriculture can also be part of a larger functioning regional green infrastructure, thereby helping to determine the overall form and morphology of cities and the relationship between settlements and their hinterlands.