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Permalink Study Quantifies Benefits of Urban Agriculture

A team of researchers led by Arizona State University and Google has assessed the value of urban agriculture and quantified its benefits at a global scale. The study results appear in Earth's Future. Overall, the researchers estimated the annual value of four ecosystem services provided by existing vegetation in urban areas to be on the order of $33 billion. In this scenario, they projected an annual food production of 100 million to 180 million tons, energy savings of 14 billion to 15 billion kilowatt hours (insulation properties provided by soil on roofs), nitrogen sequestration between 100,000 to 170,000 tons and avoided storm runoff of 45 billion to 57 billion cubic meters annually. The researchers estimate that with intense urban agriculture implementation, the overall annual worth of urban agriculture could be as much as $80 billion to $160 billion.

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