Urban Farming Group
Urban farming is often defined as “the growing and regional distribution of crops and raising of animals within the urban and peri-urban environment”.
It can take on many forms; for example, household, school and community gardens, as well as rooftop, vertical and indoor farms. Urban farming needs to be integrated into the social and cultural life, and the economics and metabolism of a city. Urban farming can span all actors; communities, activities, places and economies that focus on biological production in a spatial context.
At Harper Adams University we see urban farming as a way to rejuvenate urban areas, provide activities to encourage social innovation, as well as develop novel and successful business models. Urban farming can offer the means to nutritional and accessible food through local sources.
Relevant research at Harper Adams on this topic, funded through industry and government, has been on investigating;
- the challenges urban agriculture faces in the UK, and the barriers for implementation
- how widely-available LED lighting is radically reducing the energy cost of indoor growing
- how we can optimise fruit production using advanced technologies like hydroponics, vertical farming and climate control, to produce commercial viable businesses
- how we can integrate renewable energy sources into urban farming businesses
- the creation of city circular economies that feed into urban farming systems
Additionally our interests at Harper Adams focus upon the legal and social constraints and opportunities, with the view to helping policy makers design resilient cities which generate sufficient, safe, nutritional food.