City Farms, Parks And Boston: Let’s Grow Up
Will urban food production ruin our economy, change our climate, and make our world a more miserable place to live?
By Meg Muckenhoupt
Union Park Press
June 21, 2011
It’s been days since Edward Glaeser published his urban farm-bashing piece in the Boston Globe, but I’m still annoyed. Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard University and director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, managed to argue against farms in a way that could extend to urban parks, gardens, zoos, swimming pools, and most sidewalks. He also ignored some intriguing trends in making urban farming more efficient, a.k.a. the Vertical Farm.
But before I give you a view from the roof, let’s consider what’s happening on the ground. Glaeser chaired the Citizens’ Committee on Boston’s Future, a group gathered by the Boston City Council in 2010 to figure out “what Boston must do to compete to be the best city” in four quick and easy kind-of-public meetings: you can read Shirley Kressel’s sour assessment of the group, or just read the final report. You’ll find urban farms mentioned three times in 23 pages. Apparently, Glaeser is concerned that people might take them too seriously.