In recent decades, we have become more and more aware of the fact that our way of living has a substantial ecological footprint. At some point in the 19th century we lost our “CO2- innocence,” as the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk recently stated. We are using more space than the earth is able to provide. We know now that everything we do and produce requires space, including compensation for losses. We know we can calculate how many “earths” we would need based on our current lifestyle. Since we consume too much anyway, we have to decide either to reduce the consumption, or use the earth’s surface more efficiently. The latter could be considered as farming. Instead of only consuming “less” we can still have some of “more.”
In current times, nobody argues anymore the necessity to be more efficient and productive in for example, land use. But it is also no coincidence that in Europe the idea of urban farming has come up at the same time as the notion of shrinking cities. In North America, however, urban farming is rooted in the practice of producing your own food again, against the backdrop of poverty and an increasingly distanced relationship between people and food production.