Title of the symposium:

From urban agriculture to edible cities – challenges and chances for approaching sustainable urban socio-ecological systems



Detail of organizer(s):




Name: Martina
Surname: Artmann
Organisation/Affiliation: Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER)
Telephone: +49 351 46 79 231
Country: Germany
Address: Weberplatz 1, 01217 Dresden, Germany








Name: Jan
Surname: Vávra
Organisation/Affiliation: University of South Bohemia (USB)
Address: Studentská 13, 370 05 České Budějovice
Country: Czech Republic





Name: Rommel
Surname: Marius
Organisation/Affiliation: ZOE, the Institute for inclusive and sustainable economies
Address: Ehrental 48, 53332 Bornheim
Country: Germany




Symposium abstract

Today´s society is facing a range of challenges connected with urbanization such as climate change, social segregation or resource depletion. Due to the complexity of societal challenges and urban systems there is an increasing need to foster systemic solutions evolving multidimensional benefits for society, nature and economy. The production of food within cities through urban agriculture can be considered as nature-based solution contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security, biodiversity and ecosystem services, agricultural intensification, resource efficiency, urban renewal and regeneration, land management, public health, social cohesion, cultural traditions and economic growth. Cities can be composed by a mosaic of different forms of urban agriculture depending on a spatial (e.g., roof top gardens, house gardens, vertical farming), actor (e.g., family farm, community garden), or organizational perspective (e.g., market-, prosumer- or subsistence-based production with different foci of production such as hobby or education aimed production). Urban agriculture can then be technological oriented (e.g., aquaponics) or take a natural agriculture approach (e.g., permaculture). To support the systemic potential of urban agriculture, two major questions arise: 1) Which benefits and risks are connected with different forms of urban agriculture? 2) How can we upscale urban agriculture from a mosaic of single forms of food supply to an edible city approach?

This symposium aims to show up the current international state of art in conceptualizing different types of urban agriculture, evaluating its different multifunctional impacts and ecosystem services as well as developing and evaluating planning strategies for implementing urban agriculture on different scales. A main concern of this session is to reflect on urban agriculture from a systemic perspective considering cities as socio-ecological systems.

We welcome presentations and papers dealing with different forms of urban agriculture:
•          Spatial monitoring and categorization of different forms of urban agriculture
•          Assessment of impacts of different forms of urban agriculture in terms of
o          Social benefits and risks
o          Environmental benefits and risks
o          Economic benefits and risks
o          Urban ecosystem services
•          Systemic approaches and planning practices to promote sustainable urban agriculture
•          Dealing with the concept of edible cities, its conceptualization, impacts and possibilities of implementation
•          Providing case studies from shrinking and growing, small and big cities
•          Providing case studies from regions with different cultural, economic and political history and environmental conditions

We welcome presentations and papers of various disciplines, such as landscape and urban ecology, environmental science, agricultural science, geography, economy, sociology, political ecology, planning and development, urban studies and public administration.



How your symposia will improve landscape ecology science?

Urban agriculture gained increasing importance in research and policy in the last decade. However, current research in urban ecology shows that the knowledge is still fragmented. Thus, it needs further efforts to systematize the wide variety of urban agriculture and its various impacts as well as chances and risks of implementation. This symposium will contribute to:
•          conceptual approaches how to categorize different types of urban agriculture and define edible cities;
•          methodological understanding of how to assess the multifunctionality of urban agriculture and its ecosystem services and
•          provide planning implications how to promote sustainable urban agriculture and edible cities.

Therefore, the symposium can take up current research themes evolving in the field of landscape and urban ecology such as ecosystem services, green infrastructure planning, urban resilience and nature-based solutions. This symposium should invite the deep needed trans- and interdisciplinary research to cover the broad range of issues connected with urban agriculture in the interface of its social, ecological and economic dimensions



Broad thematic areas


Broad thematic areas 1st choice: Urban regions (urban landscapes, urbanization processes, urban metabolism, rural urban systems)


Broad thematic areas 2nd choice: Ecosystem services



Free Keywords

Urban agriculture, edible city, systemic approach, nature-based solution, urban ecosystem services, assessment, urban ecology, gardening, food self-provisioning