Have you ever wondered how many people are currently residing in cities? The answer is more than 50% of the worldwide population, according to the United Nations. Urban areas keep growing, removing arable land for good. And, have you ever wondered how many resources does it take to maintain a city? Think about water, food, recreation space and possibilities, breathing air, construction materials… Ecological footprint might be an interesting concept to consider.
The ecological footprint of a city is the total area of land and water resources required to provide the resources it consumes and assimilate the waste it generates, using the current technology. This area is typically one or two orders of magnitude greater than the urbanized areas themselves (as stated in this book by Kevin J. Gaston).
We could go on and on about this, read a lot of papers on that matter and I’d get very sciencey and we’d have a lot of fun, but that’s not my aim today.
Instead, I’d like to inspire you to do something to reduce the ecological footprint of your city by sharing this awesome video:
A time lapse video showing a rooftop garden’s full growing season. It’s one of the locations of Brooklyn Grange Farm (New York). Lots of their projects are very interesting.
In case you aren’t easy to persuade by beauty and obscure concepts, here go some more reasons to grow some food in your rooftop, balcony or windowsill:
- Greenery improves the thermal insulation of buildings, especially when placed in rooftops.
- In a general sense, the more plants, the less urban heat island effect and smog.
- Plants consume carbon dioxide for growing and release oxygen in the process. Gotta love photosynthesis.
- You’ll be eating your own fruit and vegetables and that’s a great feeling. They tend to be tastier and usually healthier.
- You’ll detach your butt from the sofa and spend more time outdoors moving around and getting a bit dirty and sweaty.
- You can recycle your food waste and make compost, for example.
- If you don’t go bananas with the pesticides, you’ll contribute to pollinators’ conservation. I know they are ugly bugs, but we need them.
- I guarantee you’ll learn a lot about botany, chemistry and soils. And, you know, knowledge is power.
Are you ready to be an urban farmer? 😉
- Graphic: United Nations
- Second image: Artur Rutkowski
- Third image: Sven Scheuermeier
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