Urban agriculture in Global North cities is strongly promoted as a sustainable solution to achieve different goals, such as food production, quality of life, and well-being. Although several attempts have been made to evaluate urban agriculture production, few studies have investigated food production in a multitemporal geospatial way and considered per capita
population needs, gender, and age strata consumption. This study presents a spatiotemporal quantification of urban agriculture in the city of Milan (Italy) for assessing food self-provisioning potential. We utilized high-resolution Google Earth images and ancillary data to create a detailed cadaster of urban agriculture for the years 2007 and 2014. Based on four scenarios of food production and statistical data on vegetables and cereals consumption, we estimated current total production and requirements for the city dwellers. Our results showed that the actual extension of vegetable gardens (98 ha) and arable land (2539 ha) in the best scenario could satisfy approximately 63,700 and 321,000 consumers of vegetables and cereal products, respectively. Overall, current urban agriculture production is not able to meet vegetables and cereal consumption for more than 1.3 million city residents. Scenario estimates suggest rethinking land use promoting horticultural production to achieve more sustainable food systems.
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