Urban horticulture specifically is the study of the relationship between plants and the urban environment. It focuses on the functional use of horticulture so as to maintain and improve the surrounding urban area. With the expansion of cities and rapid urbanization, this field of study is large and complex and its study has only recently gained momentum. It has an undeniable relationship to production horticulture in that fruits, vegetables and other plants are grown for harvest, aesthetic, architectural, recreational and psychological purposes, but it extends far beyond these benefits. The value of plants in the urban environment has yet to be thoroughly researched or quantified.
Today urban horticulture has several components that include more than just community gardens, such as market gardens, small farms and farmers' markets and is an important aspect of community development. Another result of urban horticulture is the food security movement where locally grown food is given precedence through several projects and programs, thus providing low-cost and nutritious food. Urban community gardens and the food security movement was a response to the problems of industrial agriculture and to solve its related problems of price inflation, lack of supermarkets, food scarcity, etc.
Crops are grown in flowerpots, growbags, small gardens or larger fields, using traditional or high-tech and innovative practices. Some new techniques that have been adapted to the urban situation and tackle the main city restrictions are also documented. These include horticultural production on built-up land using various types of substrates (e.g. roof top, organic production and hydroponic/aeroponic production). Because of this, it is also known as roof-top vegetable gardening/horticulture and container vegetable gardening/horticulture.
- Tukey, HB Jr. (1983). "Urban horticulture: horticulture for populated areas". HortScience: 11–13.
- Tixier, Philippe and de Bon, Hubert; 2006.Ch. 11. "Urban Horticulture" in Cities Farming for the Future - Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities by René van Veenhuizen (Ed.), International Development Research Centre (Canada)
- Garden Culture, A magazine that focuses on growing food in an urban environment.
- Flowerpot Farming: Creating your own Urban Kitchen Garden, Jayne Neville, Good Life Press; Ill edition (June 1, 2008), ISBN 978-1904871316
- Growing greener cities: FAO programme for urban and peri-urban horticulture
- Periurban Vegetable Project, Philippines
- Urban Horticulture at Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
- Brooklyn Botanical Gardens - Urban Gardening Resources
- Guerilla and organic city gardening information by Journeytoforever
- Watch My Urban Garden - a National Film Board of Canada documentary
- Growing Vegetables in Containers