Urban agriculture is not new, nor is it contained to wealthy, developed cities. The United Nations Development Program estimates that 15% food worldwide is grown in cities. In developing cities, urban agriculture provides a critical source of food and income for some residents.
PRESENTATION OVERVIEW (12 noon to 1pm, Room E-207)
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in urban agriculture in many wealthy, developed cities. It is estimated that urban agriculture has increased 30% in the last 30 years in USA and this has been accompanied by a lot of excitement in the media. Big claims are being made including that urban agriculture can decrease greenhouse emissions, ‘climate proof’ farms, help solve food security for growing urban populations and provide chemical free food with no risk of pests and diseases. Many of these claims need to be rigorously tested to ensure that sound investments can be made in enterprises that are financially viable and capable of delivering on claims of social and environmental benefits. This presentation will discuss the benefits and limitations of urban agriculture and propose areas of future research that can help to support the industry to contribute to the nutrition of city dwellers as urban populations continue to rise.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr Cathryn O'Sullivan, CSIRO
Dr Cathryn O’Sullivan completed both her Bachelor and PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Queensland. Her early research explored the role of microbes in the treatment of solid waste and wastewaters, the production of biofuels and the cycling of nutrients (particularly carbon) in freshwater and marine sediments. Cathryn joined CSIRO Agriculture and Food in 2009. Her recent research interests have expanded to include interactions between plants and soil microbes involved in plant nutrition and disease as well as the ways that researchers can help the urban agriculture industry. Her work uses microbial, molecular and physiological tools to explore ways to improve food production with a focus on disease control, nutrient use efficiency, waste reuse and alternative growing systems.
DISCUSS HOW QUT AND CSIRO CAN WORK TOGETHER ON THE ADVANCED URBAN AGRIFOOD CRC (1pm to 2pm, Room H-314)
After the presentation, QUT researchers are invited to move to Room H-314 to discuss potential transdisciplinary research collaborations with the CSIRO to support the Advanced Urban Agrifood CRC.
An urban farm on a city rooftop