Five cities and the groups that are making them green
Around the world cities are promoting urban agriculture to help feed their growing populations.
Currently more than half of the world’s 7 billion people live in urban areas, and according to the United Nations (UN) that number is expected to reach 65 percent by 2050. Dramatic population growth strains food resources and raises the challenge of feeding urban dwellers, particularly the poor. According to the UN, poverty is now growing faster in urban areas than in rural areas—there are currently 1 billion people living in urban slums.Skip to next paragraph
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Today, Nourishing the Planet highlights five cities and the organizations that are helping these cities become food-sufficient:
1. Dar es Salaam: More than 45 percent of Tanzania’s 2.3 million unemployed people live in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. Studies by the Tanzanian Department of Rural Development and Regional Planning have found that there is significant reduction in poverty among residents who practice urban gardening in Dar es Salaam. In 2011, 68 percent of residents are growing food and raising livestock in the city. According to the International Food Policy Research Institute, 90 percent of vegetables and 60 percent of the milk supply are produced locally.
Dar es Salaam in action: The Mikocheni Post Primary Vocational School is training students how to make a sustainable living and grow food in the city. The vocational school has become a learning center for waste separation, composting, and urban farming. The composting chambers are built by the masonry students, the cooking and carpentry students contribute organic waste to the compost, and all students take turns attending the gardens. The school also offers free training seminars on composting to the local community.
2. Detroit: The population of Detroit has shrunk by more than 50 percent since 1950 and the current population is just over 900,000. It is a city that has largely been abandoned by grocery stores and more than 550,000 residents live in food deserts, areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. But the city of Detroit, led by creative entrepreneurs, has the potential to rediscover its roots in urban farming.