Scientists investigate potential for an urban agriculture ‘revolution’
A new investigation will investigate if by ‘radically upscaling’ fruit and veg developing in our towns and urban areas we could change UK food production while making ourselves and the environment healthier.
The two-year Rurban Revolution venture, supported by the Global Food Security program, and driven by Lancaster University with specialists from the University of Liverpool and Cranfield University, spans environmental and plant science, the psychology of nutrition and supply chain management.
Stage one of the venture will explore how much, what and where we can develop in our urban spaces and will unite information around current land use and atmosphere appropriateness for developing certain crops.
Analysts will likewise study subjects to investigate the connection between urban developing and dietary decisions to check whether individuals are bound to eat fruit and vegetables on the off chance that they develop them themselves, and how accesses to green and developing space influence individuals’ stress levels.
Dr Charlotte Hardman, a senior teacher at the University of Liverpool who is driving on the psychological elements of the project, said: ‘We know that stress is a major driver of poor dietary choices, and research shows that access to nature and green spaces reduces stress and improves wellbeing so if we were to radically upscale urban growing in cities would that be associated with better wellbeing and healthier dietary choices?’
The second stage will inspect two regions with differentiating atmospheres, socioeconomic profiles and farming traditions.
A series of scenarios will at that point be created for how the two territories could be ‘rurbanised’, with input from local planners and individuals associated with public health, nourishment supply chains and developing projects. These situations will be utilized in virtual reality investigations to decide if living close where sustenance is developed impacts individuals’ eating habits.
Dr Sofia Kourmpetli, from Cranfield University included: ‘We will compare fruit and veg from existing urban growing schemes with crops grown conventionally in the nearby countryside as well as imported produce found on our supermarket shelves.
‘How do these compare in terms of nutritional quality? Are there any health safety risks in terms of contaminants, such as pesticides and heavy metals? These are the sort of questions that we will try to address.’