Rooftop Farms Next Front for Sustainable Agriculture

Advocates of the sustainable agriculture movement are pointing towards urban agriculture and rooftop farms as the next big, transformative innovation in agricultural production.
For the past several years, urban agriculture has become the latest fad in the farm sector. While the practice has been around in one form or another since the beginning of cities, in the past decade it has received increasing attention from municipal governments as a way to revitalize local economies and improve nutrition in urban food deserts.
Major American cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco have already passed a number of local regulations allowing for the production and sale of agricultural products within city limits. In addition, urban farming has taken off internationally, with cities like London, Berlin, Tokyo, and Singapore embracing rooftop agriculture.
Advocates argue that it is better for the environment (the smaller spaces allow for decreased use of pesticides and fertilizers that can pollute local waterways and removes the need for transportation and farm machinery, reducing carbon emissions).
With an increasingly urban population (the United Nations has estimated that about 70 percent of the planet will live in urban areas by 2050) needing a major increase in sustainable agriculture, urban farming may be one of the most important tools available to feed a hungry planet.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer