Urban agriculture and sustainable urban systems: a benefits assessment of the garden movement in Havana, Cuba
The sustainability of urban systems is at the forefront of many national environmental agendas, both in developing and developed countries. Urban agriculture (UA) is a concept that has captured the imagination of a growing number of environmentalists, poverty activists and urban planners alike, with its capacity to deal with a number of environmental and social pressures that arise in urban areas. Despite the significant market and non-market benefits of this activity, UA is still marginalised in urban planning and considered inconsistent with the idea of a modern city. This paper argues that in order to make optimal decisions on the role of UA in urban sustainability, an extended assessment of the total economic value of UA, encompassing social, environmental and economic benefits, must be made. Results from a contingent valuation study on the value of popular gardens in Havana are presented.
Keywords: sustainable city, urban agriculture, Cuba, contingent valuation method