Making Global Cities Sustainable: Urban Rooftop Hydroponics for Diversified Agriculture in Emerging Economies
12 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 20, 2012
Food security will be a challenge for global cities in emerging economies. Traffic congestion, rising fuel prices, and poor road and logistical infrastructure has produced a problem in transporting agriculture from rural areas to urban markets where people reside and where the food is consumed. Urban roof agriculture is being explored in various global cities as a method to increase food security, enhance environmental awareness and as a key strategy for urban sustainability. This paper discusses the capacity of cities to reduce both their ecological and carbon footprints through utilizing under-used roof space in larger global cities to grow food. Data for quantifiable projections relies on a pilot project to develop a hydroponics installation on Saint Joseph Hall at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines that grew lettuce which was consumed on-site.^ This project showed that growing lettuce on a rooftop is not only possible but may even be profitable. The methods developed demonstrate the capacity to minimize the ecological and carbon footprints of growing lettuce and micro greens by saving transportation and logistical costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water, and saving energy costs by using solar panels as a power source for pumps and aerators. This project is also particularly relevant for schools and universities, areas of learning, where students have the opportunity to reconnect with nature and the food supply chain.
Keywords: Food Security, Urban Sustainability, Rooftop Hydroponics, Urban Farming, Low-Carbon Cities
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