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Category — Planning

Finland: Farming the city. Creating opportunities for urban agriculture in Helsinki. How can architects engage?

(Photo via Sophia E. Hagolani-Albov, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

Architects can contribute as facilitators in the discourse. They can have different roles: as initiators when creating favourable conditions for a practice to start and operate, as mediators between practitioners, authorities and citizens, as well as curators or advisors supporting UA practices.

By Moinel, Caroline
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master’s thesis
Aalto University
2017

Abstract:

This master’s thesis explores urban agriculture typologies and their respective potentials to increase urban quality of life, ecosystem services, and urban experiences for citizens; while also analysing how architects can contribute to create opportunities for the development of urban agriculture.

Urban agriculture has remerged in developed cities over the last fifteen years in a variety of forms and scales, empowering people to access local and healthy food, while creating a sense of place and community. The contemporary movement of urban agriculture started as a response to global sustainability challenges and a strong wish to place food at the centre of urban agendas. This re-emergence also reflects an ongoing participatory urban culture movement and the redefinition of public urban spaces and urban life.

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November 11, 2017   No Comments

Chicago: Neighbors shout, criticize children during Park Ridge community garden debate

Supporters and opponents of a proposed community garden at North Park in Park Ridge.

“The children who are commenting up here are not paying our taxes and are not paying our water bills,” Lind said.

By Jennifer Johnson
Chicago Tribune
Nov 3, 2017

Excerpt:

Wolf said the proposed garden will measure approximately 8,000 square feet. Inside a 5-acre (217,800-square-foot) park, Wolf said the garden is “a small percentage of the park.”

But some neighbors disagreed, shouting “No it’s not,” in response.

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November 10, 2017   No Comments

Canada: How to feed a hungry city

Brandon Hebor, co-founder of Ripple Farms Inc., inspects the growing lights of an aquaponic lab. Ripple currently sells its produce to high-end chefs.

Toronto has become a leader in urban agriculture, but there’s worry public awareness is lagging as new projects struggle to take root

By Charlie Friedmann
Globe And Mail
Nov 3, 2017

Excerpt:

“Torontonians have long grown in their backyards and continue to do so, but it’s mostly been under the radar,” notes Joe Nasr of the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University and a co-ordinator of Toronto Urban Growers (TUG). “What’s new is this attention to the fact it exists and that it has a place in the city, and that the city can help it prosper.”

TUG has brought together a diverse group of civilian stakeholders since 2009, with the goal of increasing the availability of healthy and sustainable food grown, processed and sold in Toronto. Through networking meetings, public forums and lobbying, the group has done just that, and – working with the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) – was largely behind efforts to bring Toronto’s Urban Agriculture Day to fruition.

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November 5, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: How to feed a hungry city

United Nations: Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ One of Seven Small-Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives Featured at UN Secretariat Building in New York!

See City Farmer’s submission exhibited at the United Nations. Click image to see larger file.

Out of the many submissions received from across the Americas, seven have been selected to be featured in a print exhibit showcased at the UN Secretariat

United Nations Food Gardens Facebook
Nov 1, 2017
(Must See. Mike)

Our “Feed Your City – a showcase of small-scale urban agriculture initiatives in the Americas” exhibit is up in the UN Secretariat lobby. Please stop by and learn more about some of the many wonderful community gardens across North, Central and South America committed to sustainability, community and connection between people and planet!

We are very excited and happy to announce that the selection for the first annual Feed Your City showcase has officially been completed! Out of the many submissions received from across the Americas, seven have been selected to be featured in a print exhibit showcased at the UN Secretariat starting today, 30 October!

These submissions, along with another six qualifying submissions, will be published on the UN Food Gardens website and shared through social media in recognition of their outstanding efforts to further sustainable urban agriculture and community involvement! A special thank you to UN-HABITAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme for participating in the review and selection panel.

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November 2, 2017   Comments Off on United Nations: Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ One of Seven Small-Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives Featured at UN Secretariat Building in New York!

Canada: Hopes grow for urban farming as Calgary readies pilot project on vacant land

An unused and unoccupied piece of land located at 1920 Highfield Crescent S.E. is shown in Calgary.

“I hope in five to 10 years we’ll have 30 to 40 urban farms employing hundreds of people,” said Hughes, adding the city has a huge amount of unused land for such activity.

By Bill Kaufmann
Calgary Herald
Oct 22, 2017

Excerpt:

The city’s launch of an agriculture pilot project on plots of unused land is long overdue but could plant the seeds for a local food revolution, says a well-known Calgary urban farmer.

Operators who’ll farm two plots of land on a two-year lease — one in the northeast and the other in the southeast — are being sought by the city, with a tour of the sites scheduled for Oct. 27.

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October 28, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Hopes grow for urban farming as Calgary readies pilot project on vacant land

FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

This webpage will basically function as a one-stop place where you can find all information related to urban food systems and rural-urban linkages. The platform is organized around 6 main tabs: a) Homepage; b) Background; c) Areas of focus; d) Knowledge produces; e) Events; f) Partners; g) Share with us.

FAO
Oct 2017

Excerpt:

Food production and ecosystem management. Food production depends on and impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity, with spillover effects going beyond food.

This area of focus deals with evidence and actions to optimize agriculture production while managing ecosystem services and biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change. For instance, promoting and strengthening nutrition-sensitive and diversified urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable methods as a way to mitigate heat island effect;

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

Cleveland residents plant the seeds for reinvention

Rid-All Green Partnership took over 1.5 acres of the property (and is set to assume another 1.5 acres soon). To date, they have harvested 14,000 pounds of produce; raised 350 pounds of tilapia; and cultivated 1,200 cubic yards of compost.

By Karin Connelly Rice
Freshwater
October 19, 2017

Excerpt:

CornUcopia Place is just one way BBC has taken steps to eliminate Kinsman’s ranking as a food desert by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Today, the neighborhood is rich with healthy eating options, as well as an unusual amount of gardens and fruit trees.

A 28-acre stretch of land on E. 81st Street and Otter Avenue is now deemed the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone—one of the more ambitious projects taken on by BBC. This tract of land is in what is known as “the forgotten triangle,” running from Woodland Road to the north, Kinsman Road from the south and west, and the railroad tracks off of E. 84th Street.

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October 25, 2017   Comments Off on Cleveland residents plant the seeds for reinvention

Canada: Urban farm a bad idea, residents tell Langley City

Ryan Hughes and about 40 residents living near the site of the proposed urban concept farm on the BC Hydro right of way told Langley City council they oppose the idea. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Proposal would convert BC Hydro right-of-way

By Dan Ferguson
Langley Times
Wed Oct 4th, 2017

Excerpt:

Ryan Hughes said it is an area of large lots that already have what amounts to urban gardens.

It would make more sense to make urban gardens more accessible to residents in high-density neighbourhoods like Douglas Crescent and the Fraser Highway, he said.

The right-of-way area is already heavily used by pedestrians runners, cyclists and dog owners, Hughes added.

“This is the wrong location,” Hughes said.

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October 11, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Urban farm a bad idea, residents tell Langley City

Long Beach program would give tax breaks for urban farms plotted on vacant lots

Photo of urban garden, Farmlot 59, in Long Beach.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to enact the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone program, which would allow for the small-scale cultivation of crops, the raising of certain types of livestock, bees, dairy producing animals or poultry, and would also allow the sale of produce through field retail stands or other farm stands.

By Courtney Tompkins
Press Telegram
Oct 5, 2017

Excerpt:

“We know we have vacant lots that have remained vacant for some 20 years; they are a strain on our code enforcement, a blight on our corridors and our neighborhoods,” Richardson said on Tuesday. “And we also know on the other hand urban agriculture is exciting … it really inspires people to really get involved in their neighborhoods.”

The council on Tuesday also took action on a separate but related item that authorized the creation of a vacant lot registry that will track how property owners care for their empty lots. The goal is to curb negative impacts associated with these often blighted lots by setting maintenance standards and requiring routine inspections. Officials estimate 618 lots would qualify for the registry.

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October 7, 2017   Comments Off on Long Beach program would give tax breaks for urban farms plotted on vacant lots

Hong Kong’s quest for the Tesla of food

Some hydroponic systems are small enough to be set up on a balcony or rooftop. Photo: City Hydroponics

He says there are about 50 rooftop farms in the city, totalling 1.5 hectares of land. He estimates that 595 hectares of rooftop space could be converted to farms – that’s just under half the size of Hong Kong International Airport.

By Marianne Bray
South China Morning Post
Sept 14, 2017

Excerpt:

If everyone consumed the way Hongkongers do, the WWF estimates, we would need 3.9 earths. According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, 84 per cent of farmland in Hong Kong lies uncultivated, and a panel of restaurant managers at the summit said sourcing high-quality local food was a big challenge.

It is a far cry from 60 years ago when the city had a 60 per cent self-sufficiency rate, says Dr Daisy Tam Dic-sze, associate professor at Baptist University (HKBU).

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September 23, 2017   Comments Off on Hong Kong’s quest for the Tesla of food

Dayton, Ohio Urban Farm founder angered by city’s Garden Station eviction

Lisa Helm, the founder of Dayton Urban Grown Farm, stands among the plantings at the co-op and training farm. Helm also founded Garden Station, which was evicted from a city-owned property last year. Cornelius Frolik / Staff

“We should write an obituary for the garden, because it’s dead and it did not die of natural causes,” Helm said.

By Cornelius Frolik
Dayton Daily News
Sept. 17, 2017

Excerpt:

The land at Wayne Avenue and Fourth Street, which belonged to the city, was transferred to Kentucky developer Weyland Ventures, which has converted an industrial building across the street into hip, new urban lofts.

The developer has proposed creating an urban entertainment and housing district called Oregon East, featuring a blend of uses.

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September 23, 2017   Comments Off on Dayton, Ohio Urban Farm founder angered by city’s Garden Station eviction

Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

Urban Agriculture – Spaces of Cultivation for a Sustainable City

By Graciela Arosemena
Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.L.; 1 edition
2012. 128 pages.

Excerpt from review by François Mancebo, PhD:

In her short book Urban Agriculture, Graciela Arosemena, gives an overview of urban agriculture’s history until the great rupture and asks a question: Now that agriculture has moved outside the city, is it time to bring it back again? Her answer is “yes”, for many reasons which she associates with the idea of making cities more sustainable. In her vision, urban agriculture can stop the vicious circle of real estate speculation, provide a healthy leisure, foster social cohesion, support a new management of organic waste to reduce city’s ecological footprint and provide food security—if not complete self-sufficiency—by allowing citizens to consume locally grown vegetables and ripe fruits.

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September 13, 2017   Comments Off on Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

The UN Food Gardens Initiative Is Organizing A Showcase Of Small Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives

The deadline for submissions for Feed Your City has been extended until 1 October 2017

By United Nations Food Gardens
Elena de Jesús, NGO Branch
Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Excerpt:

The UN Food Gardens Initiative, in partnership with UN-Habitat, is organizing a showcase of small scale urban agriculture initiatives in the Americas in order to share experiences, raise awareness about urban agriculture in the region, and incentivize policy action in support of this important activity in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 15 (Life on Land) and in the context of the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference.

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September 12, 2017   Comments Off on The UN Food Gardens Initiative Is Organizing A Showcase Of Small Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives

Canada: Young Langley farmer not surprised at downturn in Metro Vancouver agriculture

Richter said the No. 1 deterrent to farming in the Lower Mainland (which comprises Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley) is the cost of land, followed by operating costs, a lack of farming knowledge being passed on and a reluctance by consumers to buy local.

By Jennifer Saltman and Harrison Mooney
Vancouver Sun
Sept 7, 2017

Excerpt:

“I’ve talked to farmers in the Lower Mainland and I worked with some of them here in Langley and they said, ‘Are you sure you’re gonna go into this? Because you’re not gonna be rich,’ ” said Richter, 32, co-owner of The Veggie Patch in Langley.

Richter was responding to a report to be presented Friday to the regional planning committee based on 2016 census data on agriculture.

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September 9, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Young Langley farmer not surprised at downturn in Metro Vancouver agriculture

Canada: Think spring now to take your weedy lawn to foodie heaven

L to R: Conrad Melanson, Luca Gervais, Marianne Gervais and Anne-Marie Gervais have turned their typical backyard into an incredible vegetable garden Jean Levac / Postmedia

Their south-facing 66 by 40 foot Alta Vista backyard also produces beans, peas, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes big and small, sweet and three kinds of hot peppers, chard, kale, garlic, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini and beets.

By Megan Gillis
Ottawa Citizen
Sept 1

Excerpt:

Growing your own food is a burgeoning trend, according to Jordan Bouchard, the coordinator of the Community Gardening Network of Ottawa.

The network is part of non-profit Just Food, which spreads gardening know-how to home and community gardeners from a farm near Blackburn Hamlet while growing produce for food banks and promoting small local growers. The aim is food security for all.

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September 7, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Think spring now to take your weedy lawn to foodie heaven