Why is urban gardening becoming more popular? In the last 10-20 years, urban farming has become more popular than it used to be.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO), about 800 million people practice urban farming in the world.
Governments of various countries are beginning to support urban gardening projects everywhere, this is as a result of the identification of urban gardening as a response to some of the issues of urbanization.
Some Problems Of Urbanization
People from rural environments migrate to urban environments for various reasons, one of which is to escape poverty. people go in search of jobs, prosperity, and the quest to “have a taste of a good life”. However, as the population in the urban areas increases, so do the problems.
Being the major reason for people’s migration to urban environments, it is one of the problems of urbanization. As the population increases, the number of poor people increases due to the unavailability of jobs.
Urbanization contributes to the level of air pollution in the environment, an example is electricity. Natural gas, one of the processes of creating electricity releases carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, these gases are hooked by the atmosphere and they, in turn, pollute the air.
The change in land use; building, constructing, grading the land surface, removing vegetation, etc has encouraged flooding. According to the US GEOLOGICAL Survey, “the peak discharge, volume, and frequency of floods have increased in nearby streams because of these.”
People who live in urban areas, because of less agricultural activities, are open to processed, unhealthy, and expensive food. These foods cause various health diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, etc.
How Urban Gardening Fixes these Problems
Urban gardening is a great means of creating jobs in the city, for large scale farms, more than one person will be needed for the job and that’s employment for a good number of persons. It also creates business opportunities for farmers, businesses, etc.
Trees and plants in a garden can help reduce carbon dioxide in the air. Through photosynthesis, plants produce oxygen and take in Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They also remove bacteria and harmful chemicals in the air. The soil is similarly protected and nourished from chemicals when you plant with natural fertilizers.
This furthermore, benefits the air temperature, The bigger your garden, the measure of cool air that you receive, which is good for human health, according to a study by David J. Nowak and Gordon M. Heisler, “Cooler air temperatures provided by urban parks can have significant impacts on human health.
During heatwave events, which can kill hundreds of people, park areas may provide city dwellers with some respite from high air temperatures, particularly in the evening. During hot, sunny days tree shade can seriously increase human comfort.”
Urbanization is one of the major causes of flooding. With buildings, flat surfaces everywhere, it becomes easier for floods to occur. Gardens and trees act like sieves or sponges for rain.
When it rains, plant or tree leaves received the water, this is called an interception, this water either evaporates back into the atmosphere or is shed on the ground surface in a process called throughfall, it can also flow down to the trunk or stem of the plant(stem flow). when all these processes happen, It incredibly reduces flooding.
4. Food Security
“Food security is defined as the means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.” This definition is according to the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security.
Food insecurity is one of the issues faced by urban dwellers, less nutritious, and healthy food. With urban gardening, healthy and nutritious food becomes easier and closer to the people. This also improves the quality of life of the consumers, they have access to food that solves some of their health problems i.e obesity, high blood pressure.
The problems of urbanization and their solutions are not limited to the ones listed here.
The solutions urban gardening provides to urbanization is one of the crucial reasons it is becoming popular, there are a lot of problems that urbanization attracts, and with the increase in population, these problems may continue to increase if not tackled. what better way to solve the earth’s problem, if not through gardening!