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Edible Cities – A report (2008) of a visit to urban agriculture projects in the U.S.A.

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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.

Read the complete Report here and donate to support the work of Sustain.

1 comment

1 Col { 05.27.08 at 5:03 am }

There is much that is good in the report but not a lot that is new. Feeding any large city requires much more than small scale community projects. Such projects are useful educational vehicles but will never produce enough food for year round self-sufficiency. There is a growing interest in community supported agriculture (CSA) in the UK and I am surprised the report did not make much more of that especially as a very good example based in a Hampshire village has been in the news recently.