A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture

Nicholas Clinton, Michelle Stuhlmacher, Albie Miles, Nazli Uludere Aragon, Melissa Wagner, Matei Georgescu, Chris Herwig, Peng Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Though urban agriculture (UA), defined here as growing of crops in cities, is increasing in popularity and importance globally, little is known about the aggregate benefits of such natural capital in built-up areas. Here, we introduce a quantitative framework to assess global aggregate ecosystem services from existing vegetation in cities and an intensive UA adoption scenario based on data-driven estimates of urban morphology and vacant land. We analyzed global population, urban, meteorological, terrain, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) datasets in Google Earth Engine to derive global scale estimates, aggregated by country, of services provided by UA. We estimate the value of four ecosystem services provided by existing vegetation in urban areas to be on the order of $33 billion annually. We project potential annual food production of 100-180 million tonnes, energy savings ranging from 14 to 15 billion kilowatt hours, nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and avoided storm water runoff between 45 and 57 billion cubic meters annually. In addition, we estimate that food production, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, pollination, climate regulation, soil formation and biological control of pests could be worth as much as $80-160 billion annually in a scenario of intense UA implementation. Our results demonstrate significant country-to-country variability in UA-derived ecosystem services and reduction of food insecurity. These estimates represent the first effort to consistently quantify these incentives globally, and highlight the relative spatial importance of built environments to act as change agents that alleviate mounting concerns associated with global environmental change and unsustainable development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEarth's Future
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

urban agriculture
ecosystem service
food production
urban morphology
natural capital
intensive agriculture
food
vegetation
urban population
nitrogen fixation
pollination
biological control
incentive
engine
environmental change
urban area
runoff
agriculture
crop
nitrogen

Keywords

  • Earth engine
  • Ecosystem services
  • Food security
  • Remote sensing
  • Urban agriculture
  • Urban resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Clinton, N., Stuhlmacher, M., Miles, A., Uludere Aragon, N., Wagner, M., Georgescu, M., ... Gong, P. (Accepted/In press). A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture. Earth's Future. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000536

A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture. / Clinton, Nicholas; Stuhlmacher, Michelle; Miles, Albie; Uludere Aragon, Nazli; Wagner, Melissa; Georgescu, Matei; Herwig, Chris; Gong, Peng.

In: Earth's Future, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Clinton, N, Stuhlmacher, M, Miles, A, Uludere Aragon, N, Wagner, M, Georgescu, M, Herwig, C & Gong, P 2018, 'A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture', Earth's Future. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000536
Clinton, Nicholas ; Stuhlmacher, Michelle ; Miles, Albie ; Uludere Aragon, Nazli ; Wagner, Melissa ; Georgescu, Matei ; Herwig, Chris ; Gong, Peng. / A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture. In: Earth's Future. 2018.
@article{31ce8fe0e67d47c58ec561534bd79ece,
title = "A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture",
abstract = "Though urban agriculture (UA), defined here as growing of crops in cities, is increasing in popularity and importance globally, little is known about the aggregate benefits of such natural capital in built-up areas. Here, we introduce a quantitative framework to assess global aggregate ecosystem services from existing vegetation in cities and an intensive UA adoption scenario based on data-driven estimates of urban morphology and vacant land. We analyzed global population, urban, meteorological, terrain, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) datasets in Google Earth Engine to derive global scale estimates, aggregated by country, of services provided by UA. We estimate the value of four ecosystem services provided by existing vegetation in urban areas to be on the order of $33 billion annually. We project potential annual food production of 100-180 million tonnes, energy savings ranging from 14 to 15 billion kilowatt hours, nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and avoided storm water runoff between 45 and 57 billion cubic meters annually. In addition, we estimate that food production, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, pollination, climate regulation, soil formation and biological control of pests could be worth as much as $80-160 billion annually in a scenario of intense UA implementation. Our results demonstrate significant country-to-country variability in UA-derived ecosystem services and reduction of food insecurity. These estimates represent the first effort to consistently quantify these incentives globally, and highlight the relative spatial importance of built environments to act as change agents that alleviate mounting concerns associated with global environmental change and unsustainable development.",
keywords = "Earth engine, Ecosystem services, Food security, Remote sensing, Urban agriculture, Urban resilience",
author = "Nicholas Clinton and Michelle Stuhlmacher and Albie Miles and {Uludere Aragon}, Nazli and Melissa Wagner and Matei Georgescu and Chris Herwig and Peng Gong",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/2017EF000536",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Earth's Future",
issn = "2328-4277",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Global Geospatial Ecosystem Services Estimate of Urban Agriculture

AU - Clinton, Nicholas

AU - Stuhlmacher, Michelle

AU - Miles, Albie

AU - Uludere Aragon, Nazli

AU - Wagner, Melissa

AU - Georgescu, Matei

AU - Herwig, Chris

AU - Gong, Peng

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Though urban agriculture (UA), defined here as growing of crops in cities, is increasing in popularity and importance globally, little is known about the aggregate benefits of such natural capital in built-up areas. Here, we introduce a quantitative framework to assess global aggregate ecosystem services from existing vegetation in cities and an intensive UA adoption scenario based on data-driven estimates of urban morphology and vacant land. We analyzed global population, urban, meteorological, terrain, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) datasets in Google Earth Engine to derive global scale estimates, aggregated by country, of services provided by UA. We estimate the value of four ecosystem services provided by existing vegetation in urban areas to be on the order of $33 billion annually. We project potential annual food production of 100-180 million tonnes, energy savings ranging from 14 to 15 billion kilowatt hours, nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and avoided storm water runoff between 45 and 57 billion cubic meters annually. In addition, we estimate that food production, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, pollination, climate regulation, soil formation and biological control of pests could be worth as much as $80-160 billion annually in a scenario of intense UA implementation. Our results demonstrate significant country-to-country variability in UA-derived ecosystem services and reduction of food insecurity. These estimates represent the first effort to consistently quantify these incentives globally, and highlight the relative spatial importance of built environments to act as change agents that alleviate mounting concerns associated with global environmental change and unsustainable development.

AB - Though urban agriculture (UA), defined here as growing of crops in cities, is increasing in popularity and importance globally, little is known about the aggregate benefits of such natural capital in built-up areas. Here, we introduce a quantitative framework to assess global aggregate ecosystem services from existing vegetation in cities and an intensive UA adoption scenario based on data-driven estimates of urban morphology and vacant land. We analyzed global population, urban, meteorological, terrain, and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) datasets in Google Earth Engine to derive global scale estimates, aggregated by country, of services provided by UA. We estimate the value of four ecosystem services provided by existing vegetation in urban areas to be on the order of $33 billion annually. We project potential annual food production of 100-180 million tonnes, energy savings ranging from 14 to 15 billion kilowatt hours, nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and avoided storm water runoff between 45 and 57 billion cubic meters annually. In addition, we estimate that food production, nitrogen fixation, energy savings, pollination, climate regulation, soil formation and biological control of pests could be worth as much as $80-160 billion annually in a scenario of intense UA implementation. Our results demonstrate significant country-to-country variability in UA-derived ecosystem services and reduction of food insecurity. These estimates represent the first effort to consistently quantify these incentives globally, and highlight the relative spatial importance of built environments to act as change agents that alleviate mounting concerns associated with global environmental change and unsustainable development.

KW - Earth engine

KW - Ecosystem services

KW - Food security

KW - Remote sensing

KW - Urban agriculture

KW - Urban resilience

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85040254441&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85040254441&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/2017EF000536

DO - 10.1002/2017EF000536

M3 - Article

JO - Earth's Future

JF - Earth's Future

SN - 2328-4277

ER -