In your post you mentioned about the benefits of urban agriculture (UA) from food production and sustainability land use, which I am very interested in. With further reading some books about UA, it is also remind me to think about the benefits from social and landscape in cities.
From the report of United Nations Development Programme (1996) we can know that UA is a valid way to solve the Food, Jobs and land use problems. As the crisis of food security and environment, UA encouraged people to participate in transform some vacant spaces into farmland. These places would not only use for production but also for some research. People can enjoy more natural and healthy food without long-distance transport. Moreover, it provided more job station for the employees. The farmland should be taken care and more research should be done for change of soil constituent or urban micro-climate.
However, it is just one aspect of the UA. Just as Pearson and his partner (2010) mentioned, UA could benefits for city society though stimulating different kind of activities. In industrial and post-industrial age, people are struggling in the ‘concrete forest’ and lack of communication. UA provided some platforms for people to communicate with each other. When participate in decorating the cities through UA, citizen would satisfied with the achievement and share ideas with others. They will have responsibility for their cities. Take the Incredible Todmorden as a example, the green route linked every green corner which attract people to visit this place. The people live in Todmorden feel proud of their contribution. It is positive for their local community.
Last but not least, UA is also a good strategy toward to better landscape cities (Mougeot, 2006). Reuse the roof of the building for planting vegetable, modify the clumsy facade by vegetation, planting fruit trees on both sides of the streets or growth some herbs in parterres. The cities will more lively and appropriate for people’s everyday life. It is benefit both for the townscape and for the sustainable development.
Mougeot, L. (2006) Growing better cities: urban agriculture for sustainable development. Ottawa : International Development Research Centre
Pearson, C.J.; Pilgram, S. and Pretty, J.N. (2010) Urban Agriculture: diverse activities and benefits for city society. London : Earthscan
United Nations Development Programme. (1996） Urban Agriculture : Food, Jobs and Sustainable cities. New York:UNDP