Co-benefits of preserving urban farmland as climate change adaptation strategy: An emergy approach

October 01, 2023 | Ecological Indicators |

Introduction: Urban farms can offer essential ecosystem services as part of urban green infrastructure (UGI), contributing to climate adaptation, offering benefits like reducing urban heat islands and improving air quality. Researchers from National Chung Hsing University and National Taipei University in Taiwan investigates the potential of urban farmland as a nature-based solution (NBS) for climate adaptation, focusing on flood risk mitigation in Taipei's Guandu Plain. Five alternative land use practices were proposed, evaluated for co-benefits, and assessed using emergy synthesis. 

Key findings: Results show that these practices outperform traditional farming methods in terms of co-benefits, with citizen farming standing out. The research underscores the multifunctionality of urban farmland, advocating for its integration into urban green infrastructure (UGI) planning. By preserving farmland, cities can enhance resilience to climate change while promoting environmental sustainability and community well-being. The study emphasizes the need for a systems approach, using emergy evaluation to guide sustainable land use decisions and maximize co-benefits from UGI.

Figure | Energy system diagram and emergy indices of land use alternatives.