How to make urban farming economically viable?

E. Appolloni, G. Pennisi, P. Tonini, L.F.M. Marcelis, P. Kusuma, Y. Liu, V. Balseca, H. Jijakli, F. Orsini*, J. Monzini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Urban farming, also called urban agriculture (UA), represents a promising solution to achieve some of the SDGs (sustainable development goals) identified by United Nations. Indeed, UA is a multifunctional activity that presents interesting social, economic and environmental opportunities. The economic viability of UA is a hot topic, given the recent exponential growth in interest by companies and investors throughout the last ten years. The interest is also reaching public and private investors, being an opportunity for economic advancement in most countries, including EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) countries of operation. Despite the growing interest and the manifested potential, some drawbacks are still hindering the development of UA, raising questions especially on the feasibility from a financial point of view. In particular, aspects such as the resource use efficiency, technological inputs and business models, still need to be expanded in order to correctly and efficiently apply and adapt UA to different local environmental and socio-economic conditions. The present paper aims to summarize the ongoing situation of UA, with respect to the main resources, technologies and business models to identify weaknesses and strengths for further improvement of the sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • business models
  • EBRD
  • resource use efficiency
  • urban agriculture
  • vertical farming


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