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Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072124

Eco-Efficiency Assessment and Food Security Potential of Home Gardening: A Case Study in Padua, Italy

1
Research Centre in Urban Environment for Agriculture and Biodiversity (ResCUE-AB), Department of Agricultural Sciences (DipSA), University of Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Agronomia Animali Alimenti Risorse Naturali e Ambiente (DAFNAE), Università degli Studi di Padova, 35020 Padova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract

In the expanding urban agriculture phenomenon in Europe, home gardens are a traditional form that have kept agriculture within cities, even becoming crucial in certain historical periods (e.g., war periods). However, horticultural practices in home gardens can also have negative consequences. The goal of this paper is to assess the eco-efficiency of home gardens as a type of urban agriculture. To do so, a case study in Padua (Italy) was evaluated following life cycle assessment and life cycle costing methods. A home garden of 30.6 m2 and 21 crop cycles were evaluated. The functional unit of the assessment was 1 kg of harvested fresh vegetable at the consumption point, and the ReCiPe method was employed for impact assessment. Environmental assessment indicated that organic fertilization, use of tap water, mineral fertilization and pesticides were the most contributing elements of the entire life cycle. Furthermore, the relevance of garden design and crop selection was a determinant in the eco-efficiency results. The assessed home garden could satisfy the food requirements of between 1 and 2 members of the household. Crop management and design recommendations are provided to improve eco-efficiency and food security potential of home gardens. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban agriculture; environmental impact assessment; local food production; life cycle assessment; urban food systems; sustainability; industrial ecology; food sovereignty; economic assessment; life cycle costing urban agriculture; environmental impact assessment; local food production; life cycle assessment; urban food systems; sustainability; industrial ecology; food sovereignty; economic assessment; life cycle costing
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Sanyé-Mengual, E.; Gasperi, D.; Michelon, N.; Orsini, F.; Ponchia, G.; Gianquinto, G. Eco-Efficiency Assessment and Food Security Potential of Home Gardening: A Case Study in Padua, Italy. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2124.

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