Who should take this course?

Government officers; urban planners and policymakers; representatives of urban businesses, food cooperatives, community-supported agriculture organizations, or retailers’ and consumers’ associations; consultants; academics; and other individuals with particular interest in promoting urban agriculture.

Course Objectives:

1. To acquaint participants with key urban agriculture elements and unique features, as well as key roles of urban agriculture in an era of rapidly expanding urbanization;
2. To build the capabilities of a critical mass of stakeholders in knowledge, technologies, and best practices related to urban agriculture; and
3. To improve ecosystem services for and the social well-being of urban dwellers and sustainability of urban areas.

Course Background:

There is an increasing recognition of the potential importance of urban agriculture. By 2050 69% of the world population will be living in urban areas, 86% in the developed world. This will create pressures on essentials like energy, food and water. Using Google’s Earth Engine software, as well as population, meteorological, and other datasets, researchers determined that, if fully implemented in cities around the world, urban agriculture could produce as much as 180 million metric tons of food a year or perhaps 10% of the global output of legumes, roots and tubers, and vegetable crops. Besides promoting local food production and consumption, urban agriculture contributes to disaster prevention, maintenance of landscapes, citizens’ understanding of agriculture, children’s education, and the social welfare of urban dwellers. Urban agriculture also performs several ecosystem services including reduction of the urban heat-island effect.

Researchers estimated that taken together, these benefits make urban agriculture worth as much as USD160 billion per year globally, and fully realized urban agriculture could provide as much as 15 billion kilowatt hours of annual energy savings worldwide. It could also sequester up to 170,000 tons of nitrogen and prevent as much as 57 billion cubic meters of stormwater runoff, a major source of pollution in rivers and streams. In Japan, for example, there are over 63,000 of these parcels of land with a total area of over 13,442 hectares scattered throughout the country, but mostly concentrated in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Researchers hope that the multiple benefits of urban agriculture will encourage other scientists, as well as urban planners and local leaders, to begin to take it more seriously as a potential force for sustainability. 

Table of contents
Module i Setting the context: the “why” “what” and “how” of urban agriculture
Module ii Urban food production technologies: understanding the roadmap for urban food production technologies
Module iii The balancing act of urban food production: achieving the fine balance of the 3-p’s (people-planet-profit) of urban food production
Module iv Value chain design of urban food: urban food value propositions and feasible value chain structure designs
Module v Complementary partnerships: setting up the complementary partnerships for making urban food system work
Module vi Scaling the urban agriculture and food ecosystem: approaches to scaling the urban food production and distribution

1. Each module contains “Module Contents”, “Reference Reading Material”, and quiz questions for self-assessment. Readers are suggested to read both module contents and reference reading materials to enhance their learning experience.

2. Papers saved in the folder “Additional Literature Relating To The Course” are useful reference materials, but readers are not required to read these materials for attempting the quiz questions given at the end of each module and taking the final examination.

Course Duration in Hours: 40 hours
Skill Level: Beginner
Upcoming Course: No
New Course: No