More urban gardens, less food waste: innovative ways to achieve SDGs

Alexandra Afonso Ribeiro*, Livia Madureira, Raquel Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Locally based worldwide initiatives evidenced that urban gardens can play a relevant role in reducing households’ and communities’ food waste by mobilizing collective action and also that this role can be enhanced by well fitted legal frameworks. These initiatives matter, as does their impact on food waste reduction, because they redirect individuals’, households’ and communities’ view towards the efficient and fair use of food and manage to change consumers’ behaviour by focusing them on buying what they will effectively eat, enabled by their awareness of the food waste negative impacts. This chapter aims to discuss the measures and actions focused on reducing household food waste and to show how urban gardens can contribute to urban communities’ sustainable development. It offers a systematic review of measures and actions that have been implemented across the world to incentivize food waste reduction with a focus on households, as they are responsible for a significant amount of waste. This inventory will allow for a better understanding of the types of measures and actions that have been experimented and that could be articulated and incorporated within integrated food waste management strategies at the local, national and even international levels. The paper shows that urban gardens can be part of both local and global solutions to reduce food waste. Given that most wasted food items are fruits and vegetables, the self-growing of fresh produce could avoid waste. Our discussion on Portuguese legal strategies focused on food waste reduction, alongside local urban policies, allows us to conclude that urban gardens could be promoted as an effective measure to address food waste goals in cities and other urban communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe role of law in governing sustainability
EditorsVolker Mauerhofer
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000375640
ISBN (Print)9780367746322
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021


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