As part of the ECOPRONAT research programme, AFD is working with the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) to analyse the links between urban agriculture, nature-based solutions (NBS) and city-scale resilience in Bangalore. Documenting the role of urban food systems in the production of ecosystem services aims at contributing to the development of sustainable urban development policies.

As the field of research on green infrastructure and nature-based solutions in cities expands, the potential of urban agriculture in the production of ecosystem services remains unexplored. Beyond the benefits of increasing food supply and reducing the vulnerability of urban populations, urban food systems can be at the heart of policies to develop nature-based solutions. This project studies the potential benefits of these systems in the perimeter of Bengaluru, an Indian city with a strong heritage in terms of urban agriculture.

This project is part of the ECOPRONAT research programme, which supports research on how to better take into account biodiversity and mainstream it into key economic sectors.



Taking the case study of Bengaluru, this project explores how and why urban food systems, in rapidly developing urban and peri-urban areas, can be seen as nature-based urban solutions that bring benefits to ecosystems and society.  Two research questions are addressed: 

  • What is the scope and outcomes of urban agriculture for ecosystem services (including pollination) and societal well-being (such as food and nutritional security of the most vulnerable populations)? 
  • How can we use different co-production pathways across the science-policy-citizen interface to scale up NBS around sustainable urban agricultural practices

The research methodology is based on three main work packages: 

  • Synthesis of scientific knowledge on the potential of NBS and existing practices at various scales, and particularly within a chosen ward of Bengaluru with the deployment of pilot interventions; 
  • Incubation and capacity building: incubating novel NBS ideas and experiments related to pollinator friendly and water conserving urban agriculture, and capacity building through the training of various stakeholder groups; 
  • Scaling impact by identifying and engaging with different stakeholders, including city-level policy and decision makers, right from the start of the project to ensure the scaling of impact throughout the project.

The expected results of these projects are: 

  • Academic results on sustainable urban food systems in the context of rapidly urbanizing countries from the Global South, on urban NBS experiences and their effects on ecosystem services (including pollination);
  • Knowledge outputs for urban decision-makers on the integration of NBS in urban planning;
  • Capacity building and teaching materials on multidisciplinary approaches to urban sustainability.  
Project start date
Project end date
224 971
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