Urban horticulture for food secure cities through and beyond covid-19

Muhammad Mumtaz Khan*, Muhammad Tahir Akram, Rhonda Janke, Rashad Waseem Khan Qadri, Abdullah Mohammed Al-Sadi, Aitazaz A. Farooque

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (SciVal)


Sufficient production, consistent food supply, and environmental protection in urban +settings are major global concerns for future sustainable cities. Currently, sustainable food supply is under intense pressure due to exponential population growth, expanding urban dwellings, climate change, and limited natural resources. The recent novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic crisis has impacted sustainable fresh food supply, and has disrupted the food supply chain and prices significantly. Under these circumstances, urban horticulture and crop cultivation have emerged as potential ways to expand to new locations through urban green infrastructure. Therefore, the objective of this study is to review the salient features of contemporary urban horticulture, in addition to illustrating traditional and innovative developments occurring in urban environments. Current urban cropping systems, such as home gardening, community gardens, edible landscape, and indoor planting systems, can be enhanced with new techniques, such as vertical gardening, hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and rooftop gardening. These modern techniques are ecofriendly, energy-saving, and promise food security through steady supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables to urban neighborhoods. There is a need, in this modern era, to integrate information technology tools in urban horticulture, which could help in maintaining consistent food supply during (and after) a pandemic, as well as make agriculture more sustainable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9592
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2020


  • Cropping systems
  • Ecological sustainability
  • Hygienic food
  • Sustainable food supply
  • Urban horticulture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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