Soil-less systems vs. soil-based systems for cultivating edible plants on buildings in relation to the contribution towards sustainable cities

Mina Samangooei, Paola Sassi, Andrew Lack

Abstract


Food production and consumption for cities has become a global concern due to increasing numbers of people living in urban areas, threatening food security. There is the contention that people living in cities have become disconnected with food production, leading to reduced nutrition in diets and increased food waste. Integrating food production into cities (urban agriculture) can help alleviate some of these issues. Lack of space at ground level in high-density urban areas has accelerated the idea of using spare building surfaces for food production. There are various growing methods being used for food production on buildings, which can be split into two main types, soil-less systems and soil-based systems. This paper is a holistic assessment (underpinned by the triple bottom line of sustainable development) of these two types of systems for food production on buildings, looking at the benefits and limitation of each type in this context. The results illustrate that soil-less systems are more productive per square metre, which increases the amount of locally grown, fresh produce available in urban areas. The results also show that soil-based systems for cultivation on buildings are more environmentally and socially beneficial overall for urban areas than soil-less systems.

Key words

Soil-less, soil-based, hydroponics, urban agriculture

Data of the article

First received : 19 October 2015 | Last revision received : 11 July 2016
Accepted : 20 July 2016 | Published online : 29 August 2016
URN: nbn:de:hebis:34-2016050350228

Citation (APA):
Samangooei, M., Sassi, P and Lack, A. (2016). Soil-less systems vs. soil-based systems for cultivating edible plants on buildings in relation to the contribution towards sustainable cities. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society, 4(2), 24-39



Full Text:

PDF

References


Allen, J. O., Alaimo, K., Elam, D., & Perry, E. (2008). Growing vegetables and values: benefits of neighbourhood-based community gardens for youth development and nutrition. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 3(4), 418-439.

ASPO. (2010). Peak Oil Theory. Retrieved from http://www.aspousa.org/index.php/peak-oil-reference/peak-oil-theory/

Astee, L. Y., & Kishnani, N. T. (2010). Building Integrated Agriculture, Utilising Rooftops for Sustainable Food Crop Cultivation Singapore. Journal of Green Building, 5(2), 105-113.

Benton, T. (2014). The Food Challenge: What is it and where does urban agriculture fit in? Retrieved from http://vfua.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Tim-Benton.pdf

Brooklyn Grange. (2015). About Brooklyn Grange. Retrieved from http://brooklyngrangefarm.com/about/

Butler, L. M., & Maronek, D. M. (2002). Urban and Agricultural Communities: Opportunities for Common Ground, 6. Retrieved from http://bieb.ruaf.org/ruaf_bieb/upload/943.pdf

Delor, M. (2011). Building-Integrated Agriculture. Retrieved from http://e-futures.group.shef.ac.uk/publications/pdf/78_Microsoft PowerPoint - 21.pdf

Denny, G. (2014). Economies of scale: Urban Agriculture and densification. In A. Viljoen & K. Bohn (Eds.), Second Nature Urban Agriculture, Desiging productive cities, 10 years on from the Continuous Productive Landscape (CPUL city) concept.

DEP. (2010). NYC Green Infrastructure Plan. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/green_infrastructure/NYCGreenInfrastructurePlan_HighRes.pdf

Despommier, D. (2011). The Vertical Farm, Feeding the world in the 21st Century. New York: Picardo, A Thomas Dunne Book.

Dunnett, N., Nagase, A., & Hallam, A. (2008). The dynamics of planted and colonising species on a green roof over six growing seasons 2001-2006: influence of substrate depth. Urban Ecosystem, 11, 373-384.

Elkington, J. (1994). Towards the Sustainable Corporation: Win-Win-Win Business Strategies for Sustainable Development. California Management Review, 36, 90-100.

EPA. (2012). Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies Trees and Vegetation. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/heatisld/resources/pdf/TreesandVegCompendium.pdf

ESRF. (2010). Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, 2010 Farm Fact Sheet.

FAO. (1996). Rome Declaration on World Food Security. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w3613e/w3613e00.htm

FAO. (2015). Soil is a non-renewable resource. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/assets/infographics/FAO-Infographic-IYS2015-fs1-en.pdf

FLP. (2010). What is food culture? Why does it matter? Retrieved from http://www.foodforlife.org.uk/Whygetinvolved/Whatisfoodculture.aspx

Francis, R. A., & Lorimer, J. (2011). Urban reconciliation ecology: The potential of living roofs and walls. Journal of Environmental Management, 1429-1437.

Garner, A., & Keoleian, G. (1995). Industrial Ecology: An Introduction. Retrieved from http://www.umich.edu/~nppcpub/resources/compendia/INDEpdfs/INDEintro.pdf

Gorgolewski, M., Komisar, J., & Nasr, J. (2011). Carrot City: creating places for urban agriculture. New York: The Monacelli Press.

GothamGreens. (2015). Gowanus, Brooklyn at Whole Foods Market. Retrieved from http://gothamgreens.com/our-farm/

GR. (2008). Urban Farming Food Chain - Skid Row Housing Trust's 'The Rainbow' Green Wall. Retrieved from http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1042

Grard, B. J. P.,Bel, N., Marchal, N., Madre, F., Castell, J. F., Cambier, P., Houot, S., Manouchehri, N., Besancon, S., Michel, J. C., Chenu, C., Frascaria-Lacoste, N., Aubry, C. (2015). Recycling urban waste as possible use for rooftop vegetable garden. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society, 3(1).

Harper, G. E., Limmer, M. A., Showalter, W. E., & Burken, J. G. (2015). Nine-month evaluation of runoff quality and quantity from an experiential green roof in Missouri, USA. Ecological Engineering, 78, 127-133.

Hayden, A. L. (2006). Aeroponic and Hydroponic Systems for Medicinal Herb, Rhizome, and Root Crops. Horticulture Science, 41(3).

HD. (2015). Construction of Europe's largest rooftop farm begins. Retrieved from http://www.hortidaily.com/article/20332/Construction-of-Europes-largest-rooftop-farm-begins

IPCC. (2007). Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Retrieved from http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr.pdf

Irwin, G. (2012). What is GLTi biosoil? Retrieved from http://agreenroof.com/2012/03/glti-biosoil-superior-green-roof-living-wall-media/

Jarlett, H. (2013). Pollution accumulated in green roof soils could contaminate water. Retrieved from http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=1545&cookieConsent=A

Jenkins, A., Keeffe, G., & Hall, N. (2015). Planning Urban Food Production into Today's Cities. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society (1), 35-47.

Kirby, V., & Russell, S. (2015). Cities, green infrastructure and health. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444322/future-cities-green-infrastructure-health.pdf

Kortright, R., & Wakefield, S. (2011). Edible backyards: a qualitative study of household food growing and its contributions to food security. Agriculture and Human Values, 28(1), 39-53.

Kraas, F. (2003). Megacities as Global Risk Areas. Urban Ecology, 147, 583-598.

Kumar, R. R., & Cho, J. Y. (2014). Reuse of hydroponic waste solution. Springer Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21(16), 9569-9577.

Lee, H., Jordan, S., & Coleman, V. (2014). The devil is in the detail: Food security and self-sustaining cropping systems. In A. Viljoen & K. Bohn (Eds.), Second Nature Urban Agriculture, Desiging productive cities, 10 years on from the Continuous Productive Landscape (CPUL city) concept (pp. 240-243). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Loria, K. (2015). Hydroponics in 2015. Retrieved from http://gothamgreens.com/files/pdf/produce_business_2015-_hydoponics_in_201.pdf

Lovell, S. T. (2010). Multifunctional Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Land Use Planning in the United States. Sustainability, 2(8), 2499-2522.

Mavrogianni, A., Davies, M., Chalabi, Z., Wilkinson, P., Kolokotroni, M., & Milner, J. (2009). Space heating demand and heatwave vulnerability: London domestic stock. Building Research and Information, 37, 583-597.

Mayer, F. S., & Frantz, C. M. (2004). The connectedness to nature scale: A measure of individuals’ feeling in community with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24, 503-515.

Muro, J., Diaz, V., Goni, J. L., & Lamsfus, C. (1997). Comparison of hydroponic culture and culture in a peat/sand mixture and the influence of nutrient solution and plant density on seed potato yields. Potato Research, 40(4), 431-438.

NA. (2010). Health and the natural environment. Retrieved from http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2010/160210.aspx

Nelkin, J., & Linsley, B. (Producer). (2009, 24th July 2009). Bright farm systems, Science Barge. Retrieved from http://www.brightfarmsystems.com/projects/nysw-usa

Newton, J., Gedge, D., Early, P., & Wilson, S. (2007). Building Greener, Guidance on the use of green roofs, green walls and complementary features on buildings. London, UK: Ciria.

NYCDCP. (2012). Zone Green. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/greenbuildings/adopted_text_amendment.pdf

NYSW. (2011). Rooftop Greenhouse Offers Living Science Lesson for New York City Students. Retrieved from http://nysunworks.org/blog/http-wwwcoolmelbourneorg-articles-2011-06-rooftop-greenhouse-offers-living-science-lesson-for-new-york-city-students-

Orsini, F., Gasperi, D., Marchetti, L., Piovene, C., Draghetti, S., Ramazzotti, S., Bazzotti, G. & Gianquinto, G. (2014). Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: the potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna. Food Security, 6(6), 781-792.

Orsini, F., Kahane, R., Nano-Womdim, R., & Gianquinto, G. (2014). Urban agriculture in the developing world: A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development(4), 695-720.

Ottele, M., van Bohemen, H. D., & Fraaij, A. L. A. (2010). Quantifying the deposition of particulate matter on climber vegetation on living walls. Ecological Engineering, 36(2), 154-162.

Pasquarelli, A. (2014). Brooklyn's Gotham Green to sprout big Chicago farm, The six year old urban farm company is building a 70,000 square foot rooftop farm in the Windy City. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/zsswz2d. Accessed 24 August 2016

Richards, D. (2008). Edible Boardrooms and allotments in the sky, Dave Richards introduces the RISC roof garden and makes the case for a permaculture approach to green roof design. Retrieved from http://www.risc.org.uk/files/edible_boardrooms_lo.pdf?PHPSESSID=def714f598ac7c51c42da91b1b4d701b

RISC. (2015). Gardens. Retrieved from http://www.risc.org.uk/gardens/

SA. (2015). What is your position on hydroponics. Retrieved from http://www.soilassociation.org/frequentlyaskedquestions/yourquestion/articleid/2373/what-is-your-position-on-hydroponics

Sheweka, S., & Magdy, N. (2011). The Living walls as an Approach for a Healthy Urban Environment. Energy Procedia 6, Science Direct, 592-599.

Specht, K., Siebert, R., Hartmann, I., Freisinger, U. B., Sawicka, M., Werner, A., Thomaier, S., Henckel, H., Walk, H., Dierich, A. (2014). Urban agriculture of the future: an overview of sustainability aspects of food production in and on buildings. Agriculture and human values, 31(1), 33-51.

Specht, K., Siebert, R., Thomaier, S., Freisinger, U. B., Sawicka, M., Dierich, A., Henckel, D., Busse, M. (2015). Zero-Acreage Farming in the City of Berlin: An Aggregated Stakeholder Perspective on Potential Benefits and Challenges. Sustainability, 7(4), 4511-4523.

Säumel, I., Kotsyuk, I., Holscher, M., Lenkereit, C., Weber, F., & Kowarik, I. (2012). How healthy is urban horticulture in high traffic areas? Trace metal concentrations in vegetable crops from plantings within inner city neighbourhoods in Berlin, Germany. Environmental Pollution, 165, 123-132.

TAS. (2015). What do I feed my aquaponics fish? Retrieved from http://theaquaponicsource.com/how-to-aquaponics/aquaponics-fish/

Ulrich, R. S. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science, 224(4647), 420-421.

Viljoen, A. (2005). Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes, Designing Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities. Oxford: Architectural Press and Elsevier.

Vogel, G. (2008). Upending the Traditional Farm319, 752-753. Retrieved from http://illinois-online.org/krassa/hdes598/Readings/Upending the traditional farm.pdf

Wakefield, S., Yeudall, F., Taron, C., Reynolds, J., & Skinner, A. (2007). Growing urban health: community gardening in south-east Toronto Medicine and Health, Health Promotion International, 22(2), 92-101.

Wall, P. (2013). Kale grows on rooftop in Morrisania. Retrieved from https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130222/morrisania/kale-grows-rooftop-farm-at-new-affordable-housing-building-morrisania

WFN. (2012). Water Footprint Introduction. Retrieved from http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/home

Wilson, G. (2002). Can Urban Rooftop Microfarms be profitable?, 22-24. Retrieved from http://www.ruaf.org/sites/default/files/Can Urban Rooftop Microfarms be Profitable.pdf

WT. (2015). Avon Wildlife Trust, My Wild Street. Retrieved from http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/mywildstreet


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




 


 

 


 Google Scholar H5 index 3 

Sponsoring Organisations

Logo Agrarekologie Uni Kassel