"When the local capacity to supply a city declines, it becomes more dependent on the global market. As an example, Japan imported wheat from 600,000 hectares of foreign farmland to meet the demand of their capital and surrounding region in 2005. This means that large cities should now start to invest in urban agriculture especially if climate change has large effects on food production and other parts of the food chain in the future," says John R Porter.
The study has exclusively focused on the historical and current production and not considered whether changes in land management practices can increase productivity further or whether consumers are willing to limit their intake to local seasonally available goods. It did not include citizen-based production from allotments, urban gardens etc.
Scientific debate on food security and urbanisation
More than half the human population lives in or near cities. That has increased global food transportation which makes up 15 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
Both food security and urbanisation is on the programme for next year's major international conference on sustainability hosted by the IARU partnership. John Porter is organising the session on global challenges and sustainable solutions related to food security.
"The congress will be an important event to discuss new insight in global food security and the different challenges faced by rural and urban populations. Also, we get a unique chance to stimulate the discussion with input from expertise of other disciplines, such as economy, biodiversity and health".
The congress is hosted locally by the University of Copenhagen and takes place in October 2014. Registration is open with an early bird discount
|Contact: John Porter|
University of Copenhagen