Urban agriculture in St Petersburg, Russian Federation
Serious ecological problems in the urban environment are common to most big cities around the world. In Russia these problems are aggravated by industrial development and lack of government funding for ecological improvement. Key facts are male life expectancy estimated at 58 in 1997 and existing environmental hazards. In addition to poor environmental conditions, most people in cities suffer from a lack of basic food. In St Petersburg the amount of vegetables per citizen is 5 times lower than in the central districts and 2 times lower in peripheral ones. The St Petersburg Urban Gardening Club aims to make the city more ecological. Being officially registered, the Club can work with the authorities and the mass media. The Club was officially registered in 1992 as a nongovernmental organization and works towards increasing the production of vegetables, particularly for the benefit of vulnerable groups. A special feature of the club is research into roof top gardening techniques in city conditions including residential buildings, schools, hospitals and institutions.