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Food production in cities has long been a tradition in many countries around the world and a mainstream activity for many developed countries. While urban agriculture plays an important role in increasing food security and social well-being, it comes with significant costs and constraints. Here, we review the growth of urban agriculture throughout the developed world in order to clarify the different benefits, risks, and hindrances associated with the practice. Through this analysis, we identify the need for better understanding of the following five aspects if urban agriculture is to make a meaningful contribution to food security and social well-being in the future: (1) the impacts of continued urban sprawl and loss of peri-urban agricultural land; (2) appropriate government and institutional support at local, regional, and country levels; (3) the role of urban agriculture in self-sufficiency of cities; (4) the risks posed by pollutants from agriculture to urban ecosystems and from urban ecosystems to agriculture; and (5) the carbon footprint of urban agriculture and use of “food miles.” If urban agriculture is to have a legitimate place in resolving the global food crisis as advocates claim, then it is time to take urban agriculture seriously and assess more rigorously both the positive and negative impacts, especially carbon emissions. Only then can the world’s limited resources be properly allocated to the development of urban agriculture.


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Join IEEE Internet Technology Policy Community

by Helen Anne Hicks (North Park University), Rajesh Nighot (IEEE), Nagender Aneja (Universiti Brunei Darussalam), Mohammed Aledhari (Western Michigan University), Ali Kashif Bashir (Senior Member, IEEE) and Jared Bielby (IEEE)

IEEE Internet Initiative eNewsletter, November 2016

Although the Internet was considered a luxury commodity a mere decade ago, it can now be considered one of the most essential of public utilities along with water, electricity and natural gas. Electricity was considered a luxury commodity in the early 19 th century and quickly became a public utility in the 20 th century. The Internet has done the same recently. Electricity has mechanized the world and helped reduce poverty, while Internet access can facilitate easier management of other public utilities and promote clean governance on a wider scale. For those with access, and those without, the Internet has become a necessary part of daily life.

The World Economic Forum, 2016 posited that access to the Internet is an invaluable tool, yet four billion people worldwide remain unconnected. While citizens of developed countries have a tendency to take inexpensive and reliable Internet access for granted, most of the world struggles to secure the same privilege. In both developing and developed countries, there are those who live without access to the Internet.

Research has documented that the Internet has a positive impact “in areas such as health, education, basic financial services and agriculture”, World Economic Forum, 2016 . The various benefits to having universal and reliable access to the knowledge that the Internet provides have also been well documented. As the Internet becomes a necessary part of daily life, those responsible for the technological functioning of the Internet as well as for the ever increasing policy surrounding Internet governance, have stepped up to address the gap in universal access, including industry standards leader IEEE.

IEEE Board of Directors recently approved IEEE’s first position statement on universal access and endorsed its goal to expand access to the billions of people in both developed and developing countries around the world that do not currently have Internet access. Within the framework of the Dune London GLORYA Slipons black hkTaCb
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coordinated by IEEE Consultant Jared Bielby, more than a dozen experts worldwide have mobilized under the leadership of writer/researcher and IEEE Senior Member Prasad Mantri to identify and address the main options and challenges for universal access. The group has identified six necessary challenges for addressing global equitable Internet access, the first three of which are presented below.

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