The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Guilherme Duch Crosta

Urban farming in the built environment

School research theme: Sustainability in the built environment
Research supervisor: Prof. Jacqueline Glass and Dr. Armando Castro
Start date: September 2019

The growing global population with an increasing urban presence presents many challenges. One of the main ones, highlighted by the UN’s SDGs concerns enacting efforts aimed at eradicating hunger and malnutrition. The FAO predicts that food production will need to nearly double by 2050 to feed a future global population of 9-10 billion people. For food production to increase, investment in technology is one of the options to deal with this challenging scenario (FAO, 2009). The fight against hunger must, therefore, include technological developments that increase yields and lower production costs. Amongst the many innovations that aim to increase food supply, urban farming is one of the most promising options as it can be seen as a vehicle through which multiple resources within a city are combined to create opportunities and challenges tailored for a particular urban setting.

Therefore, this research seeks to explore the possibilities urban farming projects display in helping to increase the availability of food in cities by exploring how to integrated food production and urban buildings/construction to make the built environment more sustainable. The main, overarching research question posed is “How can the construction industry adapt and incorporate urban farming projects support to increase sustainable food production and development in societies?”. For this, semi-structured interviews with members of urban farming organizations will be conducted.