Open Access

The Concept of Urban Agriculture – Historical Development and Tendencies


The change in the concept of urban agriculture has been driven by social, political and economic factors, changing the role of agriculture in the urban environment. From the second half of 20th century topicality and practices of urban agriculture are growing widely not only in social initiatives but also in scientific research (the number of articles in scientific databases has increased 18-30 times since 2000). Growing interest has identified various variations and tendencies in the interpretation of the concept of urban agriculture, having regard to the current United Nations definition that is broad, but in research works and case studies researchers adapt the definitions to the local characteristics and aim of the study, thus creating a number of risks in the interpretation of the concept, including limited possibilities for quantitative comparisons between studies. The aim of the article is to identify the historical development stages of the concept of urban agriculture and to determine the main research tendencies in its application. To achieve this aim, the method of monographic and descriptive analysis was used for theoretical discussion, analysis, synthesis and deduction - for information gathering, logical systematization and classification. As a result of the study, it was identified that the concept of urban agriculture is developed in three different stages - originally associated with the technical solutions of urban planning for providing food for city dwellers, it is currently developing in tendencies of different directions: analysis of agriculture’s role in urban areas (including mitigating climate change risks), classification of types of urban agriculture, opportunities for adapting innovations and technological solutions to urban agriculture, the place and context of urban agriculture for sustainable development in the circumstances of urbanization. Such in-depth research of the experience and impact of urban agriculture on sustainable development could increase dynamically due to environmental considerations, aspect of the circular economy, and new paradigms in planning urban and peri-urban areas.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Plant Science, Ecology