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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.

courtesy flickr-mjmonty

courtesy flickr-mjmonty

Take Action

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.


Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on July 21, 2010:

Thanks for this link, this project has some real possibilities to utilize rooftop space.

Avia A. on July 21, 2010:

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These are very similar to my thoughts. A friend of mine recently launched a website that helps bring this to practice. It is called I wish her and her team the best of success, since when I tell people about her website, everyone thinks it's what is needed to push renewable energy and urban agriculture into practicality. (the website matches those with distributed spaces with the energy and urban ag companies looking for distributed spaces). Let me know your thoughts also and keep the conversation going about renewables and urban farming!

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on April 27, 2010:

Water conservations and food preservation are two important ways to enhance your resilience. Thanks for dropping by.

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on April 27, 2010:

Great hub Bob. I love working in my garden. If you can your food you help to conserve. You use the jars over and over,no more tin cans. I think you would like the hub I did on Rain Chains. It is a great tool to conserve water and they look cool too. Thank you for another great hub.

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on April 26, 2010:

Good to hear from Australia, thanks for dropping by.

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on April 26, 2010:

Well written hub with good points Bob. My parents grew up on farms in Southern Italy and now that land is sitting idle as most of the young people left the town for cities and other countries (including my parents).

There is a growing trend here in Australia to grow our own food as many of us live on large blocks so urban agriculture is happening here and growing.

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on April 25, 2010:

Now is a good time to make the changes needed, thanks for commenting.

msorensson on April 25, 2010:

It really is sad that it happens everywhere. I grew up on a farm. I loved my childhood. It was very simple. You plant, you have crops, you eat some of the crops and sell some of the crops.

We did not have electricity. We had kerosene Coleman lamps and we only used it for a very short period at night, during dinner. We slept early, woke up early, worked on the farm.

I have not been back to Manila for a long time. Everyone wants to live in the city so it is crowded, polluted, hot.

The farm that I grew up in is now part of a city! Sad.

In Oregon, they have started this renewable energy initiatives. I think it is great that we are doing this, getting back to simpler things, now.

Bob Ewing (author) from New Brunswick on April 25, 2010:

Thanks for dropping by.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 25, 2010:

Interesting point of view. Thank you.

freelancewriterva on April 25, 2010:

I ready to create my own garden. Green Hubpage

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