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A comprehensive vision for urban agriculture


The proposals should build on knowledge and data created through recent studies and former projects and address the exchange of knowledge and experience in urban farming. In line with the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation, the proposals shall bring together actors (academia, municipal and regional authorities, urban farmers, businesses, citizen associations, etc.) representing various approaches to urban agriculture across a representative set of urban locations and countries (including least developed countries). Proposals should consider the variety of contexts and motivations that exist, and encompass all the dimensions of urban agriculture, such as:

  • Role in urban development and landscapes, and potential synergies and conflicts with other land uses and economic activities, including notably urban sprawl;
  • Environmental benefits (biodiversity, green infrastructure, climate, etc.);
  • Social benefits, including income generation, development of social capital within cities, effects on gender balance, or improved urban-rural connections;
  • New business models based on urban agriculture;
  • Improvements on food security, accessibility, safety and quality as well as food literacy and diets.

The formulation of guidance and recommendations to stakeholders and policy makers, including on means to engage European citizens in urban agriculture, are included in the scope.

Cooperation with relevant projects in this domain under Horizon 2020[[Such as SiEUGreen, proGIreg or EdiCitNet.]] (including notably the project funded under FNR-07-2020) or other programmes is essential. Where relevant, the consortium should establish links with actors and networks around the world that are active in this domain.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts

Urban agriculture[[In the context of this topic, 'urban agriculture' shall be understood as encompassing agricultural activities performed within the limits of urbanised areas, and agriculture occurring on the fringes of cities (or peri-urban agriculture). All modes of agricultural production, including food gardening, are considered.

]], in its many different forms, can provide responses to a wide array of challenges related to life in cities. In developed countries, these relate mainly to social and environmental concerns, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban development, food quality and sustainability, or to the search for new economic avenues and business models. In developing countries, urban agriculture has also proved to be a non-negligible source of food and income for the urban poor, and a valuable buffer in cases of food shortage. Consequently, interest in urban farming has significantly increased in the last years. Initiatives, projects, networks and studies have proliferated worldwide. However, these studies generally focus on just one or a few of its dimensions. There is a need to address urban agriculture from a holistic perspective, to develop a comprehensive vision about its future role and to see how European policies, including research and innovation, can support its development.

Activities should contribute creating a community of stakeholders, fostering a structured dialogue and developing a holistic and balanced vision of urban agriculture. In the short term, this will help to:

  • Develop and deploy urban agriculture initiatives by urban stakeholders adapted to a variety of contexts;
  • Inform the development of policies supporting the development of urban agriculture and facilitate harmonisation and coordination between decision-making levels.
  • Develop suitable R&I programmes to deliver the knowledge, technologies and practices needed to achieve the objectives set out in the vision.

In the longer term, this should contribute exploiting the full potential of urban agriculture to improve the quality of life, wealth, health, diets and food security and safety of urban dwellers.