Why urban farming should flourish post pandemic

Dan Evans, senior research associate in physical geography, and Jess Davies, chair professor in sustainability at Lancaster University, have outlined why fruit and veg production in towns and cities must become a central theme going forward 

They reflect on the increase in interest in gardening since lockdown as shown by seed packets flying off shelves and allotment waiting lists swelling. They suggest that the fear of food shortages will have motivated some, but others with more time on their hands at home will have been tempted by the chance to relieve stress doing a wholesome family activity. They outline four reasons why food growing should become a perennial feature in our gardens, towns and cities after COVID-19: 

  1. Growing greener towns and cities
  2. Resilient food supplies
  3. Healthier lives
  4. Healthier ecosystems

They say “All these reasons and more should compel us to scale up food production in towns in cities. COVID-19 has given us cause to re-evaluate how important local urban green spaces are to us, and what we want from our high streets, parks and pavements. Judging by the garden centre sales, allotment lists and social media, many people have decided they want more fruit and veggies in those spaces. The opportunity is there for urban planners and developers to consider what bringing farming to urban landscapes could offer.” 

View our UK Food Tracker in full.