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Arup Explores: Urban Agriculture

Dr Anne Kovachevich
Australasia Foresight Lead

Population growth, urbanisation, technological advancements, lifestyle changes and the climate emergency present a challenge to the way food is produced, supplied, consumed and reused in cities.

At the same time, these megatrends present an unprecedented opportunity to lead the next wave of innovation in the development of alternative food production methods, sustainable supply chains, urban infrastructure optimisation and future-proofing.


It is predicted that food production across the world will need to increase by around 25% by 2050. Coupled with growing urbanisation, restrictions in available agricultural land and climate change impacts, this leaves a large challenge to address. Earlier this year, Singapore announced the "30 by 30" goal to increase food production from around 10% to 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030. In a country where 98% of the fresh produce is currently imported, this ambitious goal makes Singapore the ideal location to start our exploration into the future of Urban Agriculture.

In late 2019, Arup Foresight brought together a range of industry stakeholders for a learning journey and series of workshops to explore the future of urban agriculture. The event explored urban food production, the urban food supply chain, moving to sustainable consumption and eliminating food waste.

“Bringing food production back to the cities, connecting it to urban infrastructure and adopting a systems thinking approach are all key steps towards achieving sustainable food production and improving food security.”

Eike Sindlinger, Integrated City Planning, Arup

Download the report Arup Explores: Urban Agriculture