New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Major news! “Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Sustainable Cities” – now online


Classic 1996 United Nations publication now available online in new 2001 edition for all to read.

Book by: Jac Smit Joe Nasr Annu Ratta, 2001

Foreword By Joe Nasr
Washington, D.C.
February 1, 2011
(A used copy of this book was selling for over $100 on Amazon Books. Mike)


This book, Urban Agriculture: Food Jobs and Sustainable Cities, is based on research undertaken by the authors, in particular a series of study trips in 1991-1992 by Jac Smit, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The report on these studies was expanded into a book, published in 1996 by the UNDP, as a contribution to the UN Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II). The book was an immediate success, quickly becoming the second-most popular publication by UNDP. It has come to be seen as the standard text on the subject.

Unfortunately, as a result of this success, the book quickly went out of print. Therefore, UNDP commissioned the original authors to undertake a new edition. In addition to updating it, the authors sought to fill in some of the gaps in the first edition and to reinforce the presence of some of the emerging topics in this field. The work on the new edition was completed by 2001, producing a manuscript that was nearly fifty percent longer than the original edition.

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February 26, 2011   1 Comment

Farming inside the box: Urban agriculture of aquaponics


See Video here. Take a tour of an aquaponics farm with Professor Alison Gise Johnson of Chicago State University and Frank Lockom of the Plant. Both help run research farms, growing leafy greens such as mint, basil, chard, and lettuce with waste water from aquaculture.

Aquaponics is an ancient idea. The Aztecs practiced a form of it.

Bu Emily Gadekand, Michelle M. Schefer
Medill Reports
Feb 25, 2011


Snow falls outside a nondescript one-story warehouse on Chicago’s South Side. But inside, it’s the growing season. Hundreds of fish swarm and fight for food in tanks surrounded by beds of basil, rainbow chard, and mint. The scene may hold the key to creating a year-round source of fresh, local food in Chicago.

The warehouse is Chicago State University’s Aquaponics Facility, the first urban aquaponics farm in Chicago. The facility may be the first step in spurring a whole new type of urban farming in the city.

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February 26, 2011   1 Comment

San Francisco Near Adoption of Urban Agriculture Planning Code


Michael Pollan in his garden. The New York Times via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Policies, plans, and programs for sustainable urban food systems

By Nevin Cohen
Urbanism News
Feb. 25, 2011


If enacted by the city’s Board of Supervisors and signed by the Mayor, as anticipated, the city’s planning code would for the first time clearly define the status of urban agriculture in San Francisco by identifying where small and large scale farms can be located, letting property owners, urban farmers, and ordinary people know exactly what kinds of agricultural uses are allowed in any given place.

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February 26, 2011   Comments Off on San Francisco Near Adoption of Urban Agriculture Planning Code