Increasing attention is being given to urban agriculture as a positive contribution to the sustainable development of the urban area. But the question remains about how to convince administrators and stakeholders that an investment in urban agriculture is a suitable alternative? The Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA) is a tool to demonstrate this. The SCBA measures the quality of, and changes to social benefits, expressed in monetary terms whenever possible.
The urban agricultural network took the initiative to perform a SCBA on urban agriculture in 2012. A comprehensive SCBA in urban agriculture is highly complex. Therefore, with the financial assistance from the Ministry of Economics Affairs in 2012-2013, two cases were studied: the Voedseltuin (shared allotment) in Rotterdam and the New Warande (area north of Tilburg). Witteveen + Bos conducted this study in collaboration with Wageningen UR, Agricultural Innovation North Brabant (LIB) and with contributions from both cities. The Voedseltuin measurements were already recorded for an earlier purpose. For New Warande (a region north of the city Tilburg) the measurements were based on the aims of the municipality of Tilburg to develop this region. The SCBA of these two cases demonstrated the benefits of investing in urban agriculture. Key findings included for example, the increased enjoyment of a more attractive environment, the saved distributions costs by creating more employment in the areas and the health advantages gained through leading a healthier lifestyle.