Life cycle cost analysis of tomato production in innovative urban agriculture systems

Alexandra Mario Pena*, M.Rosa Rovira-Val, Joan Manuel Fernández Mendoza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The construction of innovative urban agriculture systems in cities has increased due to food and environmental concerns. While the environmental performance of urban agriculture has been extensively studied, research on the life cycle costs of urban agriculture systems is still limited, which constraints sustainability-oriented decision-making processes. This paper analyses the economic viability of tomato production cycle in an innovative building with an integrated urban agriculture system in rooftop by applying the life cycle cost methodology. The data was collected from direct measurements and internal and external sources. To calculate labour costs, a customised data collection sheet was created. The results are presented by life cycle stage, cost category and type of cost (fixed & variable). Results indicate that the main cost drivers for tomato production are labour (24.7%), the rooftop greenhouse structure (15%), external pest control (12.6%), and rainwater consumption (9.5%), accounting altogether for 61.8% of the total costs. Accordingly, cost reduction solutions are evaluated through the development of sensitivity scenarios (rooftop greenhouse structure design, tap water use and rainwater tank size), including the consideration of another relevant aspect, such as the role of the production level output, as it can greatly influence the economic viability and profitability. Finally, the main environmental and social aspects of these urban production systems are also included.
Translated title of the contributionAnalisis del coste de ciclo de vida de la producción de tomate en sistemas de agricultura urbana innovativos
Original languageEnglish
Article number133037
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jul 2022


  • Economic viability
  • Food security
  • LCC
  • Life cycle cost
  • Sustainable cities
  • Urban agriculture
  • Urban food production


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