35+ Curious Urban Farming Statistics

Urban farming statistics reveal the rise of urban agriculture, its benefits like food security, reduced environmental impact, increased employment, and potential for economic growth, shaping a sustainable future.

Urban gardens in Chicago

The newest trend in cultivating gardens and crops is in the use of urban farming. While it is rising in popularity, many need to be aware of its benefits and processes. 

To help familiarise others with this form of agriculture, we have compiled a list of urban farming statistics in this article, with sources to justify the data collected. Therefore, if you’re curious about urban farming, all your answers are in the guide! 

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Top Ten Urban Farming Statistics

The most significant facts about urban farming reside in the following statistics.

  • Urban agriculture can produce up to 15-20% of the food requirements of a city. 
  • Urban farms increased by 30% in the United States between 2002 and 2017. 
  • By 2050, it is estimated that nearly 80% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, creating a greater need for urban agriculture. 
  • Rooftop farming can provide numerous benefits, including improved building energy efficiency by up to 10-20%, reducing stormwater runoff, and mitigating the urban heat island effect. 
  • Vertical farming, a form of urban agriculture, can produce up to 390 times more crops per square meter than traditional farming methods. 
  • The market value of the global vertical farming industry is projected to reach $12.77 billion by 2026.
  • In 2019, the largest rooftop greenhouse in the world, spanning 900,000 square feet, was opened in Montreal, Canada. 
  • Approximately 800 million people worldwide are engaged in urban agriculture. 
  • Urban farming can help improve food security and access to fresh produce, particularly in underserved communities known as “food deserts.” 
  • Urban agriculture has environmental benefits, such as reducing food miles, conserving water through efficient irrigation methods, and minimising the need for chemical inputs. 

Additional Urban Farming Statistics

To help you fully understand the extent of urban farming and agriculture, we expand on the subject in the statistics below.

The Global Market Value of Urban Farming Is Projected To Increase Exponentially

Global urban farming is expected to reach upwards of 16.14 billion by 2027. Much of this is due to people in urban areas resourcing underutilised buildings and neglected areas for gardens and farming.

Employment Will Increase Due to Urban Farming

The urban farming industry is estimated to employ approximately 200,000 people in the United States. Between the need for farmers, caretakers, and assistants, the available positions will help families make ends meet.

Rooftop Farming Provides Many Benefits Outside of Food

Rooftop farming can reduce a building’s energy consumption by providing insulation and cooling effects, leading to up to 25% of energy savings. This practice is also called vertical farming, given the elevation of the rooftop gardens.

Vertical Farming Is a Lucrative Practice

Vertical farming can produce up to 390 times more crops per square meter than traditional agriculture. By utilising otherwise bare space, you can increase the food supply to the local residents and reduce costs for governmental programs and citizens’ grocery bills.

Community Gardens Have a High Return on Investment

Community gardens can provide affordable access to fresh produce, with an estimated return of $5 in food value for every $1 invested. Initial costs to start urban farming spaces are on the lower end. Purchasing the same product in stores is significantly higher than growing it yourself.

Community Gardens Lead To Increased Property Value

Community gardens can reclaim vacant lots and reduce urban blight, increasing property values in surrounding neighbourhoods. 

Instead of empty spaces, you will come across flourishing gardens that provide local nutrition and a beautiful neighbourhood landscape.

Urban Farming Helps Employ Farmers as a Career

In developing countries, urban agriculture can contribute to poverty alleviation and food security, with estimates suggesting it can provide livelihoods for up to 20 million farmers

Farming is a critical job, and many need the property to do it on a massive scale. Urban agriculture allows more individuals to explore it as a career option.

Urban Agriculture Aids Water Pollution

Introducing urban agriculture can help reduce urban runoff and stormwater pollution by promoting natural water filtration and absorption. 

This change will exponentially impact the local and national levels of corruption positively in the coming years.

Water Usage Is Minimal With Urban Farming

Hydroponic systems use up to 90% less water than conventional soil-based agriculture. For a world facing a water shortage and drought threat, transitioning to gardening and farming methods that utilise less is beneficial.

NYC Produces Thousands Via Urban Farming

In New York City, urban farms produce around 200,000 pounds (90,000 kg) of fresh produce annually. As a confined city, the spaces are innovative, with many residing on office buildings and residential rooftops.

Impoverished Areas Expand Urban Agriculture

Detroit, Michigan, has over 1,400 community gardens and farms covering around 1,000 acres. Over the years, the city has worked to address food insecurities in the area by incorporating these spaces for its residents.

30 By 30 in Asia

In Singapore, urban farming initiatives aim to meet 30% of the country’s nutritional needs by 2030. This increase will help to reduce poverty and increase the country’s health. 

The country strongly focuses on the health of its citizens and visitors, and this effort propels the initiative. 

Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Urban agriculture can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by minimising the distance food travels from farm to plate and avoiding deforestation associated with agricultural expansion. 

Local food sources allow consumers to obtain healthy and safe food more quickly and efficiently.

Increase In Local Economy

According to a study in Chicago, urban agriculture has the potential to generate up to several million dollars annually in local economic impact. 

Financially, this is attributed to high incomes, food subsidies, and regional programs.

Expansion of Urban Agricultural Land

In the United Kingdom, the area of land used for urban agriculture increased by 49% between 2010 and 2019. Many communities have expanded their practice of the urban farming concept by refurbishing empty spaces into gardens for the cities they serve.

Fulfilling the Need Through Urban Agriculture

The city of Havana, Cuba, produces more than 90% of its fresh vegetables within the city limits through urban agriculture initiatives. 

This inordinately high percentage makes a significant difference for those in the area.

Women as a Majority

In Africa, women occupy almost 60% of the urban farming and agriculture workforce. These women plant, maintain, and harvest to feed their families and communities.

Improvement of Poor Situations

The food expenditures for those with limited finances hover around 85%. Urban farming employs impoverished people, increasing access to healthy food while reducing costs. These elements can alleviate health issues and increase nutrition levels in communities.

Office Buildings Can Be Multi-Use

Japan has a limited amount of space for agriculture. However, many inner city office buildings have dedicated space to growing food to aid those in the community. 

You will find whole floors with various plants that office staff tends to throughout the work day.

Dedication to the Cause

Boulder, Colorado, has dedicated 45,000 acres of space to urban farming. Previously this space was used to create a buffer between the city and the ongoing development outside the area.

Tax Incentives for Urban Farming

Sacramento, California, offers a tax incentive to those who want to use their property for urban farming. 

While there are parameters to the program, there are monetary benefits if the land owner uses it for this purpose for at least five years.

Funding Is a Hindrance To Urban Agriculture

Regarding operating efficiently, 40% of communities state that finances come between the need for the farms and making it a reality. If this issue were reconciled, the number of farms would increase significantly.

Public Gardens Used for Urban Farming

Regarding public gardens, 57% of those in production reside in urban or adjacent areas. These locations allow those living within the city limits to have space to grow their food. 

Urban Agriculture at the Airport

The JetBlue airline has dedicated 24,000 square feet of space above their terminal at JFK airport to growing food through urban farming measures. The T5 Garden is a vast space with many different types of plants.

Inner City Efforts for Expansion

Washington, DC, aims to add 20 additional acres of land to the area for urban farming by 2032. These efforts will be made by utilising rooftops and unused space throughout the city for planting and harvesting.

Final Thoughts

Urban farming has become a remedy in a world where sustainability and self-sufficiency are becoming more and more critical. The data presented in this article provides a clear picture of a movement that is reshaping our neighbourhoods, cities, and the future. 

Urban farming is establishing itself on rooftops and vacant lots, producing fresh vegetables, cutting down on food miles, and re-establishing people’s connections to their food sources.

We can see from the data that urban farming has a favourable effect on our urban environments’ environment, human health, and social structure. 

Therefore, let these figures serve as a reminder that change is afoot and that with each sprout, we get closer to developing a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future for everybody. 

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