Due to population growth, urban expansion has escalated resulting in an increased demand for food. Since food is typically produced in rural areas, there are environmental costs to growing and transporting the produce to populated regions. By cultivating food within the city perimeter, natural spaces are preserved from farmland development. To ensure that detrimental ecological consequences from importing food products are mitigated, a proposed solution is to integrate aquaponics in urban communities. This diversification of food production also aids in local food security.
Aquaponics is the combination of two self-sustaining production systems: aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture techniques are used to farm fish while a hydroponics system grows leafy vegetables in soilless surroundings. Thus, these food products are available to be cultivated and consumed by local citizens.
The primary research objective is to examine aquaponics as a viable system for urban food production. Thus, a life cycle assessment considering financial and environmental costs to run an aquaponics system was conducted to evaluate its sustainability from multiple perspectives.
Overall, it is crucial that informed opinions about the feasibility of aquaponics are communicated with government officials and policy makers before these sustainable practices are implemented into eco-friendly cities.