For our first dissertation meeting we were tasked with writing an abstract and creating a mood board of our interests. My main interest is urban agriculture. As you can see from below I have included projects, that if you’re interested in nature in cities, you should take a look at: The Farmhouse and The Vertical Farm. I have included important quotes (written below) from the interviews and documentaries that I have watched that have inspired me to undertake this topic for my dissertation.
I had the assumption when researching for my dissertation project that I would want to write about climate change and sustainability only. I researched into urban agriculture and I realised that it is an essential method for us to begin to do to help climate change and the incoming global food crisis.
David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet
“Right now, we’re facing a manmade disaster of global scale.”
“So, what do we do? It’s quite straight forward. It’s been staring us in the face all along. To restore stability to our planet, we must restore it’s biodiversity.”
“If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.”
“When it comes to the land, we must radically reduce the area we use to farm, so that we can make space for returning wilderness.”
– David Attenborough, natural historian.
“I can control the environment, I control the water, I control the nutrients. I love this, I can control every aspect of growing my own food.”
– Troy Albright, CEO of True Garden
“The vegetables we saw growing at True Garden were just growing, right there. There was no soil, there was minimal water. It was really just their roots hanging in these hollow tubes, being saturated in nutirents and substances and growing to be the most beautiful vegetables.”
– Lauren Kelly Piergallini, reporter
“One of the most important steps that we’ve done is used the raised vegetables beds. When we are eating that much produce, it’s really important. So we can have clean soil that has been brought in. We also know that lead doesn’t generally transfer into fruits so this beautiful blood plum behind us is totally safe to eat from.”
“Much of the composting happens in situ just by chopping the branches and leaving them on the ground underneath the plant.”
“One of the things that’s so concerning about the state that we’re in at the moment is so many people are losing that connection to the land. So The Plummery has been an experiment in how can we regain that connection to food in the city.”
Can artificial and natural ecosystems coexist? Integrating nature into urban areas is valuable for the environment and the economy. Is it possible for food production to be more local? Urban agriculture and vertical farming say ‘yes’. It is beneficial for us to have local food for our future. With the growing population and an increasing demand for food, it is necessary for us to produce our own food. If it is done locally is will be environmentally beneficial. With local food, there would be lesser needs for long distance imports and reducing the pollution that comes from this. With incoming Brexit and a looming ‘no deal’, it is likely that import and export prices to the EU will increase. It could lead to higher prices and a shortage of essential goods.
2020 was an incredibly scary year. It impacted every single one of us and caused us to change how we acted. It allowed us to reflect on our past actions. The pandemic was one of the scariest and most unknowing times of my life. On one hand, it was absolutely devastating to the whole world. On the contrary, there were many new opportunities for us to explore. Technology allowed us to stay connected with our loved ones and colleagues. It presented a new way of life through the cameras in our phones, laptops, tablets and computers. It was certainly a struggle adjusting to this lifestyle for the time being. However; it allowed us to reflect on our lifestyle and the current issues at the time.
From being in lockdown on and off, we wanted to stay connected to nature. We wanted a relationship with natural life to keep us physically and mentally well. With the economy in downhill, companies no longer being able to afford to keep their staff, arising issues of world hunger with the increasing population, we decided to take matters into our own hands. The public began to grow their own fruit and vegetables. It became popular amongst city-folk to grow our own greens; and we continue to do this even today. We were bringing greenery back into our cities, helping feed the growing population with our own home-grown food.
As we continued to reconnect with nature, our air became cleaner, our cities became greener. We began to rely less and less on nationwide imports. With Brexit in full swing and our trades being affected, it was a necessity for us to take growing food into our own hands (quite literally!). We no longer need to worry about people going hungry as we can get food from our own back gardens, rooftops or even basements! Our cities have become self-sufficient, allowing forests to regrow as our need for farm land has become less of a necessity. No land goes to waste. Our cities are now filled to the brim with, greenery, communal gardens, allotments packed with fruit and veg and roof-top gardens.
We are being healthier and feeling healthier. Being able to know exactly where my food comes from, knowing it grows in my very own garden, is an accomplishment to me. There is no greater feeling than nurturing and caring for a plant and being able to reap the rewards. The food is better and even tastes better.
It is not only our cities that have been affected. Our seas have become healthy once again, they are no longer being polluted with chemicals from agricultural run-off. Wildlife is thriving where there is no human interference. We have adopted the natural eco-system ideals of being self-sufficient and we can really see the results. Even today we are still trying to reverse the effects of climate change. It was the consequences of our actions that led to it. But we are improving, we are learning, we are educating our children and grandchildren. We are creating a better future for those who we will leave behind.