Urban Agriculture Rezoning in Boston
The Mayor’s Office and BRA are launching ‘kicking off the planning process’ with a Kickoff and Visioning Meeting, scheduled for January 30, at 6:00 p.m. at Suffolk University
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the City of Boston want to establish an environment in which all of our citizens–particularly the most underserved–have direct access to locally produced fresh food, the ability to produce food for themselves, and access to education and knowledge about healthy eating.
Objectives for the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Initiative include:
1. Increase access to affordable and healthy food, particularly for underserved communities.
2. Promote economic opportunity and greater self-sufficiency for people in need, including increasing the capacity of Boston residents and business and grow and distribute local and healthy food;
3. Increase education and knowledge around healthy eating and food production, particularly among youth.
4. Increase partnerships with, and/or between, local and regional food producers
5. Increase healthy food supplies to local schools, organizations, institutions and corner stores.
The BRA’s Urban Agriculture Rezoning Initiative is one of a number of of City initiatives designed to support these objectives.
The Urban Agriculture Rezoning Initiative is being rolled out in two phases. Phase I, the Pilot Urban Agriculture Rezoning Project, was initiated in fall 2010. A collaborative effort between the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), and the BRA, the Pilot Urban Agriculture Rezoning Project involved the creation of an Urban Agriculture Overlay District on two city-owned properties in South Dorchester and the issuance of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to identify prospective farmers. Extensive community participation including five community meetings and regular dialogue with community leaders was involved in the rezoning process, RFP process, and selection of the farmers. Presentations from three of these meetings—November 16, 2010, March 29, 2011 and April 14, 2011—can be viewed under “Publications” below (the same presentation used for the November 16 meeting was used in the December 2010 and January 2011 community meetings).