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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Family urban agriculture as a component of human sustainable development.


The universal phenomena of professional urban agriculture (PUA) and family urban agriculture (FUA) are the subject of growing attention. However, it is necessary using a multifunctional analysis to try and gain a global comprehension of their intrinsic worth and differences. Past research on Western European and North American countries has emphasized the food, social and cultural functions of FUA. Most of the recent work on developing countries focuses on the food, employment and environmental functions. Some research on FUA of East European countries has allowed identification of the following functions: second homes, therapy, personal stability and transmission of knowledge and culture. An attempt at a global comprehension is presented that considers those different functions, uses an anthropologico-socio-cultural approach and goes beyond the criteria of the market economy to identify the distinctive nature of the FUA activity. It permits one to understand that FUA contains an important potential compensator, of therapeutic value and contributing to the stability of the person and of the society. Consequently, urban agriculture includes PUA (a market activity which can be termed industry) and FUA (a non-market activity). The implementation of the potential of those two categories for a more human sustainable development of the towns may lead to an institutionalization of this activity not only as a 'distinct industry' (United Nations Development Program), but also as a 'distinct activity'.

CAB Review details

  • History
  • Published: 21 March 2007
  • ISSN
  • 1749-8848
  • Publisher information
  • CABI Wallingford UK
  • Record Number
  • 20073043083