What’s Good In The Agrihood? Can it work in Philadelphia?
Where an urban or community farm offers an opportunity for people to supply themselves and their neighbors with fresh produce, an agrihood focuses on making a farming outfit the very center of a small community, the way manufacturing used to be.
By Quinn O’callaghan
The Philadelphia Citizen
Dec 28, 2016
Kuck says that the top selling point of such agrihoods would be the fact that they help legitimize the usefulness and utility of accommodating for green spaces in modern urban planning. “Even 30 years ago, there were 500 community gardens and backyard plots without support, and we lost a lot of those developments by not prioritizing how green spaces play a role in how we shape and plan for cities,” Kuck says. “In some ways, the term ‘agrihood’ is a little bit irrelevant to me, but if it gets people thinking about planning and galvanizing them in the future, that’s great.”
Philadelphia is home to 40,000 vacant buildings and more than 42,000 vacant lots; Philly’s population has been on a steady incline since 2000, and many thousands of Philadelphians lack easy access to fresh food. This city has all the tools to focus on creating its own agrihoods, and while they won’t abolish hunger or entirely do away with food deserts, they’re a good place to start. Detroit, more than anything, is being creative in its handling of its vacancy crisis, bringing everyone from farmers to artists to professional millennials to live in and repair uninhabited housing and land parcels; it’s welcoming change and development to neighborhoods that desperately need it. Instead of lambasting the existence of similar properties in Philly and using them almost exclusively as urban-blight b-roll stand ins, let’s make something out of them.
Let’s make them grow.