Berkeley Lab

Precision Urban Agriculture Initiative

What if we could grow healthy vegetables in our urban centers, in a way that conserves water, minimizes the use of pesticide and fertilizer, is cost-competitive with conventional agriculture, and provides affordable, accessible, nutritious food for low-income urban communities?

This project addresses the intersection of two problems—the environmental damage caused by conventional agriculture and the lack of healthy, affordable produce for low income urban populations.  A new revolution in farming is within our reach–offering the opportunity to grow fresh produce in cities without the environmental costs of traditional farming.  Getting there from here, however, requires an understanding of the complex science behind plant growth so that we can target resources to directly what plants need.  It also requires a strong understanding of the engineering and science to control complex environmental criteria like light, temperature, nutrient flow, humidity, CO2 with precision and maximum efficiency.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is leveraging its scientific resources and facilities to address the questions and support the technological innovation that will help this fledgling field develop.