PUBLICATION DATE

2016-02-22

AUTHORS

Rosemarie Siebert, Kathrin Specht, Kristin Swoboda, Thomas Weith

TITLE

Socially acceptable urban agriculture businesses

ISSUE

1

VOLUME

36

ISSN (print)

1774-0746

ISSN (electronic)

1773-0155

ABSTRACT

The rise of successful entrepreneurs in urban agriculture has attracted global interest. Here, we hypothesized that societal preferences and the acceptability of urban agriculture projects and products are ruling the success or failure of urban agriculture businesses. We surveyed 386 urban participants in Berlin, Germany, to identify general preferences for the productive use of urban space, the acceptance of different urban agriculture forms, and demands and expectations regarding urban agriculture products. The results show first that more than 80 % of the respondents preferred having accessible systems such as public green spaces, intercultural gardens, and rooftop gardens. Indeed, land uses that do not provide accessibility such as meadows, aquaponic farms, or intensive agricultural and horticultural landscapes showed lower acceptance, of less than 40 %. Second, 60 % of participants expressed acceptance of rooftop farming, agriculture in the urban fringe, or in inner-city brownfields, whereas 65 % rejected to have agriculture in multi-story buildings, agroparks, or aquaponic farms. Third, more than 50 % are willing to buy horticultural products, but they reject products from intensive production systems and animal-farming mechanisms, with more than 70 % rejection for animal products. Overall, this is the first study to investigate entrepreneurial urban agriculture possibilities from the perspective of potential consumers. The main insight is that the highest degree of acceptance is reached for multifunctional urban agriculture that combines commercial with ecological and social goals. As a consequence, projects that are purely production-driven or technologically intensive are more likely to be rejected.

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1 articles:0da994ee2895a63e87a975df356ab5cf sg:abstract Abstract The rise of successful entrepreneurs in urban agriculture has attracted global interest. Here, we hypothesized that societal preferences and the acceptability of urban agriculture projects and products are ruling the success or failure of urban agriculture businesses. We surveyed 386 urban participants in Berlin, Germany, to identify general preferences for the productive use of urban space, the acceptance of different urban agriculture forms, and demands and expectations regarding urban agriculture products. The results show first that more than 80 % of the respondents preferred having accessible systems such as public green spaces, intercultural gardens, and rooftop gardens. Indeed, land uses that do not provide accessibility such as meadows, aquaponic farms, or intensive agricultural and horticultural landscapes showed lower acceptance, of less than 40 %. Second, 60 % of participants expressed acceptance of rooftop farming, agriculture in the urban fringe, or in inner-city brownfields, whereas 65 % rejected to have agriculture in multi-story buildings, agroparks, or aquaponic farms. Third, more than 50 % are willing to buy horticultural products, but they reject products from intensive production systems and animal-farming mechanisms, with more than 70 % rejection for animal products. Overall, this is the first study to investigate entrepreneurial urban agriculture possibilities from the perspective of potential consumers. The main insight is that the highest degree of acceptance is reached for multifunctional urban agriculture that combines commercial with ecological and social goals. As a consequence, projects that are purely production-driven or technologically intensive are more likely to be rejected.
2 sg:articleType OriginalPaper
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7 sg:doi 10.1007/s13593-016-0355-0
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31 sg:scigraphId 0da994ee2895a63e87a975df356ab5cf
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