In preindustrial times stock breeding and cultivation of food were perfectly usual in cities and primarily essential. On the one hand it was virtually not possible to transport or conserve food in a modest way, on the other hand the harvest of the farming outside of the cities was so little, that it did last just about for the farmers themselves. Because of the bad transport and storage situation and the small harvest, people from the city had to be farmers as well in those times. But with the industrialization, farming distanced itself from the cities and the people who lived inside.
Anyhow the awareness for food production inside a city raised again in the last couple of years . By the fancy term “urban gardening” the well-tried concept of urban farming found its way back into the lives of young, modern townies. Especially young, politically active people developed new approaches for urban gardening in the city. The motto is very simple: find forgotton niches and unused areas and grow food there.In a lot of different ways, like neighboorhood or quarter gardens, farms for kids, vertical gardens on unused facades or collective roof-gardens, people tried to re-connect the distanced relation between farming and cities in a creative way.
Urban farming means to grow food in conurbations through individuals or groups, mostly for their own usage. The agricultural area which is used for growing food is knowingly selected in an urban surrounding and serves usually as kind of a garden.This has to be bordered from the term “municipal farming”, which occurs in or around cities as well, but is managed by an agricultural business. Next to food, municipal farming includes arable farming and stock breeding as well.
Of course there is a lot of criticism when it comes to urban farming, because the concept of urban farming can not guarantee a self-supply of the cities. This statement is obviously true, but what urban farming CAN do, is “at least” to meet the single requirements of fruits and vegetables for one person on an area of ca. 70qm. Certainly that is not a complete self-supply, but a big step in the right direction. Defender of the concept think urban farming is a lot more than only “growing food”, but rather a chance of co- and self-determination and city design, but also a chance to communicate a different handling of food, to create awareness and appraisal for food and to try a new way of working/living.
We think urban farming or “urban gardening” is an awesome idea! You can find urban gardens in Salzburg as well, for example here.