Edible Cities – A report (2008) of a visit to urban agriculture projects in the U.S.A.
New report shows edible cities are the future – Edible Cities, looks at examples of urban agriculture projects in cities and identifies a series of opportunities that other cities could be adopting.
The British group visited an inspiring range of projects in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York and noted a number of similarities to and differences from urban agriculture initiatives in London, including:
• A commercial element to many of the US projects, which is much less common in the UK;
• A more liberal situation in the US than in the UK to encourage composting, but less willingness than in the UK to include animals in some urban agriculture projects;
• Different approaches to fencing and public access to projects, which varied within the US, depending on context;
• Imaginative and productive ways of growing without access to subsoil, either in raised beds on hard surfaces or, in one case, in hydroponics on a barge;
• Inspiring use of an holistic and sustainable approach to fish farming in an urban area which produces marketable quantities of tilapia.
The trip stimulated a number of ideas for how to promote more food growing in more cities. These include:
• Using the many possibilities of urban tree planting to promote traditional varieties of fruit and nuts;
• Untapping the potential of both Royal Parks and other parks to accommodate some food growing in their grounds;
• Exploring under-utilised spaces such as derelict council property, private gardens and social housing to grow food;
• Making use of the abundant buildings in urban areas to grow food on rooftops, up walls and in window boxes;
• Building on the food growing expertise that already exists in a multicultural community, as well as providing education and training for new growers.