Urban Agriculture 2020

2nd International Conference on Urban Agriculture and City Sustainability


29 September–1 October 2020


Urban Agriculture 2020

With the main objective to preserve our delegates’ wellbeing, but also with the belief that the scientific community should not be stopped, WIT decided that Urban Agriculture 2020 should not take place as scheduled, in Valencia, Spain, but take place as an online event instead.

The conference was organised by the Wessex Institute, UK, represented by Professor Stefano Mambretti, Member of the WIT Board of Directors and the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain represented by Professor Jose Luis Miralles i Garcia.

The conference, which started in the New Forest, UK in 2018, attracts a wide international spread of delegates.

The aim of the Conference was to review and discuss ways in which urban agriculture can contribute to achieving sustainable cities. As urban populations continue to increase, it is essential to consider ways of reducing their impact in terms of the use of natural resources, waste production and climate change.

Opening of the Conference

The conference was opened with a presentation of the Wessex Institute followed by a welcome address by Conference Chairman Professor Jose Luis Miralles i Garcia, who explained the purpose and great benefits of this year’s online event. This was followed by a presentation by Vicente Domingo, Director of CEMAS (World Sustainable Urban Food Centre) in Valencia on the work that they are doing to promote sustainable urban food production.

Invited Presenations

There were a series of invited lectures on advanced topics of research and applications, as follows:

  • Urban heat island mitigation due to enhanced evapotranspiration in an urban garden in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA”, by Gaston “Chip” Small, of the University of Saint Thomas, USA.
  • A new phase on the process to maintain the urban agricultural area of ‘L’Horta de València’ (Spain)”, by Jose Luis Miralles i Garcia of the University of Valencia, Spain.
  • Wintertime thermal performance of green façades in Mediterranean climate”, by Evelia Schettini of the University of Bari, Italy
  • Assessing the performance of urban green infrastructure: the case study of Benicalap district (Valencia, Spain)”, by Maria Valles-Panells of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain
  • What’s the carbon content of your food? Development of an interactive online foodprint simulator”, by Khadija Benis, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Conference Sessions

The papers presented during the conference were classified under the following headings:

  • Urban metabolism
  • Sustainable land use
  • Green infrastructures and sustainable urbanism
  • Socio-economic aspects of urban agriculture
  • City food chains

Conference Publication

Papers presented at this conference are published in Vol. 243 of the WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN 1743-3541). Papers presented at the meeting are available Open Access in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute (https://www.witpress.com/elibrary) from where they can be freely downloaded by any interested parties.

A few papers were selected for publication in the International Journal of Environmental Impacts. This Journal covers the subjects on the numerous environmental problems present in modern society and their impacts, taking into account scientific, economic and social issues.

Closing of the Conference

We are very sorry that we were not able to meet our delegates in person this year.

WIT is aware that one of the benefits of the conferences is the networking among colleagues and the only reason for implementing this strategy is the exceptional circumstances created by the covid-19 crisis. Thus, to allow the authors to maintain that capability, delegates who registered for this conference, and had their paper accepted for publication, are able to attend the next conference in the series (or a different conference of their choice devoted to similar topics that takes place prior to that) free of charge, and if they wish, make an oral presentation of their published paper.

We would like to thank the delegates for participating in the event and look forward to meeting them at the next conference in the series.

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