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Urban agriculture bore fruit for health and food system resilience

Urban agriculture is the key to creating healthy cities and developing resilient urban food systems in uncertain times. However, relevant empirical evidence is limited. This study quantitatively verified the association of access to local food through urban agriculture with subjective well-being, physical activity, and food security concerns of neighborhood communities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The target was Tokyo, Japan, where small-scale local food systems are widespread in walkable neighborhoods. We found that diversity in local food access, ranging from self-cultivation to direct-to-consumer sales, was significantly associated with health and food security variables. In particular, the use of allotment farms was more strongly associated with subjective well-being than the use of urban parks, and it was more strongly associated with the mitigation of food security concerns than the use of food retailers. These findings provide robust evidence for the effectiveness of integrating urban agriculture into walkable neighborhoods.

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