Type: Book

Achieving sustainable urban agriculture


Professor Han Wiskerke is Professor of Rural Sociology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He was founding Editor of the journal Urban Agriculture and Regional Food Systems and guest editor of the special issue ‘City Region Foodscapes’ of the journal Sustainability. He has coordinated a series of major EU projects on urban and peri-urban agriculture and food provisioning such as ‘FOODLINKS’, ‘PUREFOOD’ and ‘SUPURBFOOD’. Since 2017 he has been coordinator of the EU-funded project ROBUST, which focuses on urban-rural relations and synergies. He has written widely on these topics and other aspects of food provisioning and rural development.

Cover image:

© Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm



Publication date:

18 February 2020

Length of book:

408 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786763167

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This collection reviews key recent research on developing urban and peri-urban agriculture.

Chapters first discuss ways of building urban agriculture, from planning and business models to building social networks to support local supply chains. Other chapters survey developments in key technologies for urban agriculture, including rooftop systems and vertical farming. The book also assesses challenges and improvements in irrigation, waste management, composting/soil nutrition and pest management. The final group of chapters provides a series of case studies on urban farming of particular commodities, including horticultural produce, livestock and forestry.

What others are saying...

"Prof Wiskerke has drawn together a group of leading authors on urban agriculture in the global north to contribute to what promises to be a leading text on sustainable urban agriculture. Its balance of chapters on governance, technical aspects and case studies will provide a comprehensive source for researchers and policy makers."
Dr Jane Battersby, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Table of contents

Part 1 Building urban agriculture networks
1.Creating a supportive public policy framework for urban agriculture: Johannes S. C. Wiskerke, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
2.The changing role of urban agriculture in municipal planning: from planning for urban agriculture to urban agriculture for planning: Nevin Cohen, City University of New York, USA;
3.Urban agriculture and local communities: encouraging engagement, building cohesion, and linking to global agreements: Laine Young, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada; and Alison Blay-Palmer, Wilfrid Laurier University and The Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada;
4.Building continuous productive (peri-)urban landscapes: André Viljoen and Katrin Bohn, University of Brighton, UK;
5.Building natural resource networks: urban agriculture and the circular economy: Stefano Pascucci, University of Exeter, UK;

Part 2 Technologies for urban agriculture
6.Rooftop systems for urban agriculture: Elisa Appolloni and Francesco Orsini, Bologna University, Italy; and Cecilia Stanghellini, Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture, The Netherlands;
7.Vertical farming systems for urban agriculture: Dickson Despommier, Columbia University, USA;
8.Redirecting nutrients in urban waste to urban agriculture: Rosanne Wielemaker and Jan Weijma, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
9.Pest management for urban agriculture: Giovanni G. Bazzocchi, University of Bologna, Italy;

Part 3 Case studies
10.Optimizing horticulture for urban agriculture: B. W. Alsanius, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; M. Jirström, Lund University, Sweden; M. T. Naznin and S. Khalil, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; and E.-C. Ekström, Uppsala University, Sweden;
11.Optimizing livestock farming in urban agriculture: Delia Grace, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya; Elizabeth Cook, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya and University of Liverpool, UK; and Johanna Lindahl, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya and Uppsala University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden;
12.Optimising aquaculture/aquaponics in urban agriculture: developing rooftop water farms: Anja Steglich, Grit Bürgow and Angela Million, Technical University of Berlin, Germany;
13.Optimizing urban beekeeping: Erik Stange, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway;
14.Optimising urban forestry: the food connection: Cecil C. Konijnendijk and Hyeone Park, University of British Columbia, Canada;