Renewable Energy and Urban Agriculture
Renewable Energy , Urban Agriculture
We are heading into town, leaving the countryside and setting up home in the city.
As a result there are now:
• 3 billion people—half the world's population—live in cities.
• Two-thirds of all people will live in cities by 2050. (In 1800, only 2% of people lived in cities and towns. In 1950, only 30% of the world population was urban.)
• Almost 180,000 people move into cities each day.
When we combine the move towards urban living with the two threats of global climate change and peak oil we can begin to visualize the stresses that will be placed upon urban centres everywhere.
Urban agriculture projects can help reduce the stresses because they can contribute to the strengthening of a community’s resilience. Resilience is the ability of an ecosystem, in this case, urban environments, to withstand extreme stress and to survive periods of catastrophic occurrences.
Renewable energy projects are also essential if we are to develop the level of resilience needed to get through the hard times and evolve a sustainable environment.
The flip side of this reality is that rural areas, especially those that relied on a resource based economy are in decline. However, the same actions, urban agriculture and renewable energy that can help urban areas enhance their resilience can do the same for the rural regions.
We are facing twin crises which will seriously test our resilience; global climate change and peak oil are realities that will have serious impact on everyone. In urban centres and rural communities, these twin events will change how we go about our daily business.
It is possible to take steps, right now, that will strengthen our resilience as individuals, communities, and nations but we need to act not talk.
Energy is the foundation on which society is built; renewable energy systems already exist that can reduce our dependence on a fossil fuel driven society. Community-based wind and solar energy systems, for example, have the ability to establish the foundation upon which a sustainable society can be built.
Urban agricultural projects can move the farm closer to the table and reduce the distance our food needs to travel. Urban greenhouses can be powered by sun and wind and operate year round.
This combination of renewable energy and urban agriculture is a major step towards building a community which ahs the ability to withstand the coming crises.
Not all our food can be produced in city limits, and the need for small farms, located close to urban centres must also be considered, as do the setting up of farmers’ markets where business can take place.
Energy and food are essentials and offer opportunities to create sustainable communities if we accept and recognize the need and then do the work.