Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Commentary | Open Access

The Place of Urban Food Forests in Cities of the 21st Century

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Abstract:  The history of urban food forests (UFFs) dates back to ancient times, when civilizations incorporated edible species into wild forests to create an ecosystem as natural as and self-sufficient as possible. Since the second half of the 20th century, the practices of integrating edible plants into ornamental landscapes have spread throughout the world. Currently, UFFs must face a number of challenges similar to those encountered by urban forests: land tenure, governance, technical capacities, and pollution and global change issues, and must be addressed in order to identify the most suitable combination of productive, environmental, and socio-economic functions of UFF. The events on a global scale that occurred in the first decades of the 21st century are forcing those who live and work in urban environments to react quickly to address the upcoming challenges.

Keywords:  ecosystem services; edible cities; food forests; food security; urban challenges; urban forests



© Paloma Cariñanos, Simone Borelli, Michela Conigliaro, Alessio Fini. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.