Urban agriculture comes with its own share of environmental impacts. Circular strategies promise to reduce these impacts, but not all strategies are resource efficient and environmentally effective.
This paper finds that the most eco-friendly and circular strategies for urban agriculture, taking a Mediterranean tomato crop as a case study, include:
- Struvite (phosphate mineral recovered from wastewater treatment) instead of non-renewable phosphate fertiliser to conserve freshwater
- Recycled steel and materials for urban agricultural infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions, toxicity and freshwater pollution
- Closed-loop irrigation to minimise ocean and freshwater pollution. However, if new infrastructure is required, it could lead to an increase in carbon emissions.