Special Issue "Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Models and Practices"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Davide Marino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biosciences and Territory, University of Molise, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
Interests: urban food systems; urban–rural linkages; food systems sustainability policy monitoring and assessment; urban agriculture; food policy councils; participative processes; landscape; ecosystem services
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Giampiero Mazzocchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural, Food and Agro-environmental Sciences, University of Pisa, 56124, Pisa, Italy
Interests: urban food systems; urban–rural linkages; food systems sustainability policy monitoring and assessment; urban agriculture; food policy councils; participative processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the challenges that all cities face today, food is offered as a prism through which to read and intervene on various areas that affect the quality of life of the population: circular economy, urban metabolism, social relations, economies, and food quality. Numerous factors require a theoretical revision of the relationships that the city weaves with the surrounding territory for the purposes of food production, processing, and distribution. The de-territorialization of food systems has manifested in a very decisive manner in recent decades, with evident and dramatic consequences on the ability to manage and govern material (materials raw, processed products, and food waste) and immaterial (knowledge, traditions, and consumer-producer relations) flows related to food. Simultaneously, with a growing interest of research and institutions for urban–rural relations, cities have begun to think about how to integrate, connect, and protect green agricultural areas and the social, economic, and environmental functions they provide to the wellbeing of the population. Urban agriculture is often considered as a framework within which many solutions can be found. Nevertheless, the role that fringe and peri-urban agricultural areas can play in sustainably feeding cities is usually underestimated. Further, the relationships between agriculture and cities shape dietary patterns and intertwine environmental challenges, combining socioecological systems and food regimes.

 

Through this Special Issue, our aim is to contribute to two different, yet narrowly intertwined, questions: (1) What models and theories can we rely on to understand, analyze, and assess the contributions of agriculture to urban challenges? (2) Which cases do we know about the integration of agriculture within urban food policies? What are their characteristics? What are their governance models?

This Special Issue will identify promising pathways and discuss challenges that need to be addressed with priority. Topics of interest include:

  • Urban and peri-urban agriculture for more sustainable food systems;
  • Agriculture in urban–rural linkages;
  • Innovative approaches connecting agriculture and cities;
  • Monitoring and assessment models for urban food systems;
  • Interactions between agriculture and nutrition;
  • Agriculture and public food procurement;
  • Urban food policies’ impact analysis;
  • Contribution of agriculture to urban metabolism;
  • Agriculture and food democracy in cities;
  • Access to land and land use issues;
  • Agriculture and urban ecosystem services;
  • Agricultural systems in the food–water–energy nexus;
  • Short food supply chains and local agriculture;
  • Stakeholder analysis in urban food movements and alternative food networks;
  • Agriculture, cities and dietary patterns;
  • The contribution of agriculture to multiple Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Urban socioecological systems and food regimes.

Prof. Dr. Davide Marino
Dr. Giampiero Mazzocchi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban food systems
  • urban and peri-urban agriculture
  • food policies
  • urban–rural linkages

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
A GIS-Based Simulation Method for Regional Food Potential and Demand
Land 2021, 10(8), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080880 - 21 Aug 2021
Viewed by 757
Abstract
A quantitative assessment of food-water-energy interactions is important to assess pathways and scenarios towards a holistically sustainable regional development. While a range of tools and methods exist that assess energetic demands and potentials on a regional scale, the same is not true for [...] Read more.
A quantitative assessment of food-water-energy interactions is important to assess pathways and scenarios towards a holistically sustainable regional development. While a range of tools and methods exist that assess energetic demands and potentials on a regional scale, the same is not true for assessments of regional food demand and potential. This work introduces a new food simulation workflow to address local food potential and demand at the regional level, by extending an existing regional energy-water simulation platform. The goal of this work is to develop a GIS-based bottom-up approach to simulate regional food demand that can be linked to similarly GIS-based workflows assessing regional water demands and energetic demands and potentials. This allows us to study food-water-energy issues on a local scale. For this, a CityGML land use data model is extended with a feed and animal potential raster map as well as a soil type map to serve as the main inputs. The workflow simulates: (1) the vegetal and animal product food potentials by taking climate, crop type, soil type, organic farming, and food waste parameters into account; (2) the food demand of vegetal and animal products influenced by population change, body weight, age, human development index, and other indicators. The method is tested and validated in three German counties with various land use coverages. The results show that restricting land used exclusively for energy crop production is the most effective way to increase annual food production potential. Climate change by 2050 is expected to result in annual biomass yield changes between −4% and 2% depending on the region. The amount of animal product consumption is expected to rise by 16% by 2050, while 4% fewer vegetal products are excepted to be consumed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Models and Practices)
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Article
Where Do I Allocate My Urban Allotment Gardens? Development of a Site Selection Tool for Three Cities in Benin
Land 2021, 10(3), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030318 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
In the context of rapid urbanization, poorer residents in cities across low- and middle-income countries increasingly experience food and nutrition deficiencies. The United Nations has highlighted urban agriculture (UA) as a viable solution to food insecurity, by empowering the urban poor to produce [...] Read more.
In the context of rapid urbanization, poorer residents in cities across low- and middle-income countries increasingly experience food and nutrition deficiencies. The United Nations has highlighted urban agriculture (UA) as a viable solution to food insecurity, by empowering the urban poor to produce their own fresh foods and make some profit from surplus production. Despite its potential role in reducing poverty and food insecurity, there appears to be little political will to support urban agriculture. This is seen in unclear political mandates that are sustained by information gaps on selection criteria for UA sites. The research reported here addresses this issue in the form of a decision-making support tool that assesses the suitability of cadastral units and informal plots for allotment gardens in urban and peri-urban areas. The tool was developed and tested for three rapidly expanding cities in Benin, a low-income country in West Africa, based on an ordered logit model that relates a set of 300 expert assessments on site suitability to georeferenced information on biophysical and socio-economic characteristics. Soil, land use, groundwater depth, vicinity to market and women’s safety were significant factors in the assessment. Scaled up across all cadastral units and informal sites, the tool generated detailed baseline maps on site suitability and availability of areas. Its capacity to support policymakers in selecting appropriate sites comes to the fore by reporting changes in site suitability under scenarios of improved soil fertility and enhanced safety for women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Models and Practices)
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Article
Smallholder Commercialization and Urban-Rural Linkages: Effect of Interest-Free Agriculture Credit on Market Participation of Rice Growers in Pakistan
Land 2021, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010007 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 861
Abstract
This study estimates the effect of interest-free agriculture credit on the market participation and urban-rural linkages of rice growers in Pakistan. A survey was conducted to collect primary data using purposive and simple random sampling techniques from Punjab, Pakistan. This study applied the [...] Read more.
This study estimates the effect of interest-free agriculture credit on the market participation and urban-rural linkages of rice growers in Pakistan. A survey was conducted to collect primary data using purposive and simple random sampling techniques from Punjab, Pakistan. This study applied the Instrument Variable (IV) approach and Ordinary Least Square (OLS) to evaluate the impact of interest-free credit on market participation and income. The results show a mixed influence of interest-free credit on rice growers’ market participation and urban-rural linkages. In general, the effect is negative when farmers obtained credit for six months. However, it shows a positive impact when farmers’ received credit for the next consecutive crop. Our findings suggest that the provision of interest-free credit for one year served a better purpose as it significantly attempted to alleviate budget constraints and endorsed farmers to increase land size under rice cultivation and improve productivity, market participation, and urban-rural linkages. The study provides three valid instruments and, therefore, a superior estimate of effect is achieved which can be leveraged to better support coherent agri-food policymaking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Models and Practices)
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Article
Green Infrastructure Planning in Metropolitan Regions to Improve the Connectivity of Agricultural Landscapes and Food Security
Land 2020, 9(11), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110414 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Green infrastructure (GI), as a concept and as a tool for environmental land-use planning at various scales, has burst onto the academic, political, and policy-making scenes in the last two decades. This tool, associated with strategic planning, offers integrated solutions for improving the [...] Read more.
Green infrastructure (GI), as a concept and as a tool for environmental land-use planning at various scales, has burst onto the academic, political, and policy-making scenes in the last two decades. This tool, associated with strategic planning, offers integrated solutions for improving the ecological connectivity and urban resilience of open spaces, especially those affected by processes of urban sprawl, the abandonment of agriculture, and the territorial fragmentation of habitats and traditional agricultural landscapes. In spite of the advantages of GI, its design and implementation face a range of challenges and limitations. In this context, this paper has two objectives: Firstly, to address a critical review of recent literature on the subject, which, among other things, highlights the lack of references to the role of peri-urban agriculture in GI planning, and the positive contribution made by peri-urban agriculture to the local food supply and other regulatory and cultural services. Secondly, to propose a methodology to contribute to integrating practical GI planning in metropolitan regions to maximize the activation of traditional agricultural landscapes and the improvement of landscape connectivity in metropolitan regions for the reconnection of rural-urban relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Models and Practices)
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