Perception and acceptance of agricultural production in and on urban buildings (ZFarming): a qualitative study from Berlin, Germany
- 1.5k Downloads
Rooftop gardens, rooftop greenhouses and indoor farms (defined as ZFarming) have been established or planned by activists and private companies in Berlin. These projects promise to produce a range of goods that could have positive impacts on the urban setting but also carry a number of risks and uncertainties. In this early innovation phase, the relevant stakeholders’ perceptions and social acceptance of ZFarming represent important preconditions for success or failure of the further diffusion of this practice. We used the framework of acceptance to investigate the stakeholders’ attitudes and to identify the key factors that might hinder or promote the introduction of ZFarming. The results are based on an analysis of 38 qualitative interviews conducted with key stakeholders in Berlin. As the results show, major perceived benefits of ZFarming include improved consumer awareness, education, and the creation of experimental spaces. Stakeholders further perceive opportunities for resource savings, new business models, repurposing of abandoned buildings and improved aesthetics. Major perceived risks are associated with growing techniques that are considered “unnatural”, health risks (due to urban pollutants), conflicts with images of traditional agriculture, the rejection of animal production in urban areas, the risk of projects being too expensive and too complex or being implemented too early, i.e. before the mechanisms are fully understood. The analysis further reveals which contextual factors—political, legal, market-related, spatial or societal—might negatively or positively influence ZFarming acceptance.
KeywordsQualitative method Urban agriculture Innovation Perceived risks Stakeholders
We appreciate the time and effort that the editor Harvey James and the reviewers have taken to comment on our paper and we want to thank them for their useful suggestions concerning our manuscript. We wish to express our greatest thanks to all our interviewees, who shared their knowledge and fruitfully collaborated with us throughout the entire process. Funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF) has supported this work (funding code FKZ 16I1619). The Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) is institutionally funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Ministry for Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg (MWFK).
- American Planning Association (APA). 2007. Policy guide on community and regional food planning. Washington, DC: APA. http://www.planning.org/policy/guides/pdf/foodplanning.pdf. Accessed 19 Aug 2015.
- Aubry, C., J. Ramamonjisoa, M.-H. Dabat, J. Rakotoarisoa, J. Rakotondraibe, and L. Rabeharisoa. 2012. Urban agriculture and land use in cities: An approach with the multi-functionality and sustainability concepts in the case of Antananarivo (Madagascar). Land Use Policy 29(2): 429–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- BMELV (German ministry of food, agriculture and consumer protection). 2013. Ökobarometer 2013 (Organic food survey). http://www.bmel.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/Ernaehrung/Oekobarometer_2013. Accessed 18 Aug 2015.
- Bohn, K., and A. Viljoen. 2010. The edible city: Envisioning the continuous productive urban landscape. Field: A Free Journal for Architecture 4(1): 149–161.Google Scholar
- Caplow, T. 2009. Building integrated agriculture: Philosophy and practice. In Urban futures 2030: Urban development and urban lifestyles of the future, ed. Heinrich Böll Foundation, 54–58. Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.Google Scholar
- De Wilt, J., and T. Dobbelaar. 2005. Agroparks: The concept, the response, the practice. Utrecht: InnovationNetwork.Google Scholar
- De Zeeuw, H. 2011. Cities, climate change and urban agriculture. Urban Agriculture Magazine 25: 39–42.Google Scholar
- Delor, M. 2011. Current state of building-integrated agriculture, its energy benefits and comparison with green roofs—Summary. Sheffield, UK: University of Sheffield. http://e-futures.group.shef.ac.uk/publications/pdf/103_12%20Milan%20Delor%20summary.pdf. Accessed 18 Aug 2015.
- Despommier, D. 2010. The vertical farm: Feeding the world in the 21st century, 1st ed. New York: Thomas Dunne Books.Google Scholar
- Dethloff, C. 2004. Akzeptanz und Nicht-Akzeptanz von technischen Produktinnovationen [Acceptance and non-acceptance of technical product innovations]. Berlin: Pabst Science Publ.Google Scholar
- Dubbeling, M. 2011. Integrating urban agriculture in the urban landscape. Urban Agriculture Magazine 25: 43–46.Google Scholar
- Germer, J., J. Sauerborn, F. Asch, J. de Boer, J. Schreiber, G. Weber, and J. Müller. 2011. Skyfarming an ecological innovation to enhance global food security. Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety 6(2): 237–251.Google Scholar
- Gorgolewski, M., J. Komisar, and J. Nasr. 2011. Carrot city: Creating places for urban agriculture. New York: The Monacelli Press.Google Scholar
- Komisar, J., J. Nasr, and M. Gorgolewski. 2009. Designing for food and agriculture: Recent explorations at Ryerson University. Open House International 34(2): 61–70.Google Scholar
- Lee-Smith, D., and G. Prain. 2006. Understanding the links between agriculture and health. Focus 13, Brief 13. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
- Lucke, D. 1995. Akzeptanz: Legitimität in der ‘Abstimmungsgesellschaft’ [Acceptance: Legitimacy in the ‘Voting Society’]. Opladen: Leske + Budrich.Google Scholar
- Orsini, F., D. Gasperi, L. Marchetti, C. Piovene, S. Draghetti, S. Ramazzotti, G. Bazzocchi, and G. Gianquinto. 2014. Exploring the production capacity of rooftop gardens (RTGs) in urban agriculture: The potential impact on food and nutrition security, biodiversity and other ecosystem services in the city of Bologna. Food Security 6(6): 781–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Oxford Dictionary. 2015. Acceptance. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de/definition/englisch/acceptance. Accessed 18 Aug 2015.
- Rodriguez, O. 2009. London rooftop agriculture: A preliminary estimate of productive potential. Master Thesis. Cardiff : Welsh School of Architecture.Google Scholar
- Rogers, E.M. 2003. Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Sanyé-Mengual, E., I. Cerón-Palma, J. Oliver-Solà, J.I. Montero, and J. Rieradevall. 2013. Environmental analysis of the logistics of agricultural products from roof top greenhouses in Mediterranean urban areas: Life cycle assessment of the logistics of agricultural products. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 93(1): 100–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sanyé-Mengual, E., I. Anguelovski, J. Oliver-Solà, J.I. Montero, and J. Rieradevall. 2015a. Resolving differing stakeholder perceptions of urban rooftop farming in Mediterranean cities: Promoting food production as a driver for innovative forms of urban agriculture. Agriculture and Human Values. doi: 10.1007/s10460-015-9594-y. (Online first).Google Scholar
- Sanyé-Mengual, E., J. Oliver-Solà, J.I. Montero, and J. Rieradevall. 2015b. An environmental and economic life cycle assessment of rooftop greenhouse (RTG) implementation in Barcelona, Spain. Assessing new forms of urban agriculture from the greenhouse structure to the final product level. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 20(3): 350–366.Google Scholar
- Säumel, I., I. Kotsyuk, M. Hölscher, C. Lenkereit, F. Weber, and I. Kowarik. 2012. How healthy is urban horticulture in high traffic areas? Trace metal concentrations in vegetable crops from plantings within inner city neighbourhoods in Berlin, Germany. Environmental Pollution 165: 124–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Specht, K., R. Siebert, I. Hartmann, U.B. Freisinger, M. Sawicka, A. Werner, S. Thomaier, D. Henckel, H. Walk, and A. Dierich. 2014. Urban agriculture of the future: An overview of sustainability aspects of food production in and on buildings. Agriculture and Human Values 31(1): 33–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- United Nations. 2004. World population to 2300. New York: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.Google Scholar
- Weber, M. 1922. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft [Economy and society]. Tübingen: Mohr.Google Scholar
- Yin, R.K. 1994. Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar