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      Social acceptance and perceived ecosystem services of urban agriculture in Southern Europe: The case of Bologna, Italy

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          Abstract

          Urban agriculture has become a common form of urban land use in European cities linked to multiple environmental, social and economic benefits, as well as to diversified forms (from self-production allotments to high-tech companies). Social acceptance will determine the development of urban agriculture and specific knowledge on citizens’ perception is required in order to set the basis for policy-making and planning. The ecosystem services provided by urban agriculture can be determinant in this process. The goal of this paper is to evaluate the social acceptance and the perceived ecosystem services of urban agriculture in the city of Bologna (Italy), as an example of a Southern European city. In particular, we evaluated the preferences for urban land uses, for different typologies of urban agriculture and for the resulting products, the perceived provision of ecosystem services and the willingness to engage in new initiatives. A survey that investigated these topics (including open questions, closed questions and Likert-scale evaluation) was performed on the citizens of Bologna (n = 380) between October and November 2016. Results showed that urban agriculture is widely accepted by the inhabitants of Bologna, particularly regarding vegetable production. Although intensive farming systems were the least preferred forms to be implemented in Bologna, citizens highly accepted a large variety of urban agriculture goods, with preference for those obtained from plants as compared to animal products. The willingness-to-pay for urban food products was mostly the same as for conventional ones, although the participants recognised the social values, proximity and quality of the former. Socio-cultural ecosystem services were perceived as more valuable than environmental ones. Policy-making recommendations can be extracted from the results to facilitate the development of urban agriculture plans and policies.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Growing urban health: community gardening in South-East Toronto.

          This article describes results from an investigation of the health impacts of community gardening, using Toronto, Ontario as a case study. According to community members and local service organizations, these gardens have a number of positive health benefits. However, few studies have explicitly focused on the health impacts of community gardens, and many of those did not ask community gardeners directly about their experiences in community gardening. This article sets out to fill this gap by describing the results of a community-based research project that collected data on the perceived health impacts of community gardening through participant observation, focus groups and in-depth interviews. Results suggest that community gardens were perceived by gardeners to provide numerous health benefits, including improved access to food, improved nutrition, increased physical activity and improved mental health. Community gardens were also seen to promote social health and community cohesion. These benefits were set against a backdrop of insecure land tenure and access, bureaucratic resistance, concerns about soil contamination and a lack of awareness and understanding by community members and decision-makers. Results also highlight the need for ongoing resources to support gardens in these many roles.
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            Consumers' willingness to pay for organic food

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              Can cities become self-reliant in food?

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: ResourcesRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Investigation
                Role: Data curationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Funding acquisitionRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                12 September 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Research Centre in Urban Environment for Agriculture and Biodiversity (ResCUE-AB), Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (Distal), Alma Mater Studiorium-University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
                [2 ] Department of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany
                [3 ] ILS - Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Dortmund, Germany
                [4 ] Department of Agricultural and Food Marketing, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany
                University of Vermont, UNITED STATES
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-17194
                10.1371/journal.pone.0200993
                6135350
                30208019
                © 2018 Sanyé-Mengual et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 1, Pages: 21
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (BE)
                Award ID: No 708672
                Award Recipient :
                This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 708672 to ES.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Urban Ecology
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Urban Ecology
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Terrestrial Environments
                Urban Environments
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Agriculture
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Europe
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecosystems
                Urban Ecosystems
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecosystems
                Urban Ecosystems
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Eukaryota
                Plants
                Vegetables
                Earth Sciences
                Geography
                Human Geography
                Land Use
                Social Sciences
                Human Geography
                Land Use
                Earth Sciences
                Geography
                Geographic Areas
                Urban Areas
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

                Uncategorized

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