Assessing the value of urban agriculture

Urban GardenThe benefits of urban agriculture may seem local and limited, but – according to a team of researchers led by ASU and Google – the collective environmental impact is significant. The team – which includes Senior Sustainability Scientist Matei Georgescu – analyzed global population, urban, meteorological, terrain and Food and Agricultural Organization data sets in Google Earth Engine to come to their global scale estimates. They then aggregated them by country. “Our estimates of ecosystem services show potential for millions of tons of food production, thousands of tons of nitrogen sequestration, billions of kilowatt hours of energy savings and billions of cubic meters of avoided storm runoff from agriculture in urban areas,” Georgescu said. The team reported its findings in Earth’s Future.