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Category — Planning

A Kale of Two Cities: Cultivating Social Justice

La Finca Del Sur.

Urban agriculture pioneers have repurposed vacant land, greened the city, created community space, and introduced city dwellers to fresh local food.

By Nevin Cohen and Kristin Reynolds
Huffington Press
Apr 14, 2014


In many ways, cultivating social justice is more important than bringing in a bountiful harvest because simply growing more food in the city, as healthy and delicious as it may be, will never feed all those in need. Even a vastly expanded urban agriculture system will not ensure healthy communities until cities address the roots of food system disparities: poverty, discrimination, and unequal power and privilege. That’s how urban agriculture can really make a difference.

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April 18, 2014   No Comments

The City of Chicago is selling vacant lots on the South Side for $1 until April 21, 2014


The Large Lot Program

The Large Lot Program is a City of Chicago neighborhood stabilization initiative to help homeowners, block clubs and non-profit groups in greater Englewood to purchase City-owned land for $1 per parcel.

The program is one of the recommendations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Five-Year Housing Plan,” which will direct $1.3 billion in public spending from 2014-2018 to create, improve, and preserve more than 41,000 units of housing citywide. It’s also recommended in the Department of Planning and Development’s “Green Healthy Neighborhoods” plan, which identifies strategies to stablize greater Englewood with a variety of land use, infrastructure, and related initiatives.

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April 11, 2014   No Comments

ARUP’s ‘Cities Alive’ – 3.1 Integrating Urban Food

Eco-city, China by Arup.

Report envisages cities of the future as integrated networks of intelligent green spaces, designed to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens.

Cities Alive
April 2014
160 pages

Excerpt: Pages. 85-89

“Rooftop farms in some of the world’s most crowded cities, including Hong Kong, New York and Tokyo, are adding green to the gray. They are reconnecting city dwellers with nature, teaching consumers about homegrown food and offering a glimpse, perhaps, of a more secure and sustainable food supply.”
—Mary Hui, New York Times (2012)

Many commentors now predict that we will see peak food around the world in the next two decades— we will begin to consume more food than we can possibly produce. Following that, alternatives to the current model of mass agriculture will have to be found. A big potential for an alternative model lies within the idea of the natural city.

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April 9, 2014   No Comments

FAO report on urban and peri-urban agriculture in Latin American cities


Havana, Mexico City, Antigua and Barbuda, Tegucigalpa, Managua, Quito, Lima, El Alto (Bolivia), Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and Rosario (Argentina)

April 2014
(Must read. Mike)

FAO has put online a new report on urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The report, entitled “Growing Greener Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean”, reviews the progress that has been made toward realizing “greener cities” in which urban and peri-urban agriculture is recognized by public policy, included in urban development strategies, supported by agricultural research and extension, and linked to sources of training, technological innovation, investment and credit, and to urban markets and consumers.

The report is available in English and Spanish. It is based on an FAO survey of UPA in 110 of the region’s towns, municipalities and cities. It includes in-depth profiles of agriculture as it is practised today in and around Havana, Mexico City, Antigua and Barbuda, Tegucigalpa, Managua, Quito, Lima, El Alto (Bolivia), Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and Rosario (Argentina).

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April 9, 2014   No Comments

Seminario: Agricultura Periurbana – Argentina

Huertas Colectivas Urbanos (2003) Municipio deRosario.

El Programa Agricultura Urbana es una instancia de trabajo colectivo entre agentes del ámbito público y privado que opera en los límites de la urbe Rosarina y ha cambiado la cara de algunas zonas de la ciudad, antiguamente abandonadas y sin planes de uso de su suelo.

Profesora: Dra. Ada Svetlitza de Nemirovsky Estudiante: Lic. Prof. Juan Pablo Sarjanovich
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales


Comenzaron siendo unos 800 huerteros. En baldíos y hasta en patios armaban su huerta. Hoy ya mejor organizados cuentan con unos 100 espacios de distintas magnitudes, algunos de varias hectáreas como los casos de Circunvalación y Ayacucho o Circunvalación y Lamadrid. Los espacios los trabajan de manera individual no colectiva y pueden llegar a ser de hasta media hectárea. Todos se encuentran en la periferia de la ciudad, en su mayoría en los alrededores de los viejos límites de la ciudad, osea el anillo que demarca la avenida Circunvalación. Así es que están ganado un enorme espacio en la zona de la autovía Circunvalación, frente al terreno de Servicios Portuarios s.a. Allí montaron un emprendimiento que está en plan piloto y que consta de varias huertas a lo largo de 5 kms de la colectora de dicha autovía.

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April 8, 2014   No Comments

Food Gardening in the U.S. at the Highest Levels in More Than a Decade


According to New Report by the National Gardening Association

- 35% of all households in America, or 42 million households, are growing food at home or in a community garden, up 17% in five years

– Largest increases in participation seen among younger households – up 63% to 13 million since 2008

– 2 million more households community gardening — up 200% since 2008

Press release from the National Gardening Association
Williston, VT (April 2, 2014)

During the past five years there’s been a significant shift toward more Americans growing their own food in home and community gardens, increasing from 36 million households in 2008 to 42 million in 2013.

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April 5, 2014   Comments Off

The rise of the ‘food charter’: A mechanism to increase urban agriculture

‘Geographisch-historisches Handbuch von Bayern’. Click on image for larger file.

By Michael Hardmana, Peter J. Larkhamb,
Land Use Policy
Available online Mar 22, 2014


Food charters are on the rise and are increasingly used as tools to enable urban agriculture.

Charters can be positive mechanisms for encouraging engagement between key actors in the city.

There is some reluctance to adopt the concept has been shown.

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March 28, 2014   Comments Off

UN Report on ‘Right to Food’ supports urban agriculture

Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1564/65 – 1637/38). ‘Spring’, between 1622-35. Part of a series of four pictures of seasonal activities, this painting illustrates spring chores in a garden. The edges of the raised beds are being firmed up, the soil prepared, and the first plantings set out. Click on image for larger file.

“Urban and peri-urban agriculture, as well as the development of short food chains connecting cities to their local foodshed, will therefore play an increasingly important role.”

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food,
Olivier De Schutter
Final report: The transformative potential of the right to food
Jan 24, 2014


38. A wide range of social innovations have emerged in recent years to support the rebuilding of local food systems, primarily by reconnecting urban consumers with local food producers.

In Canada, the Special Rapporteur learned about a number of initiatives that seek to support relocalized food systems. In Montreal, for instance, urban agriculture initiatives include a community gardening programme managed by the City, and collective gardens managed by community organizations, with impacts that go beyond improved food security and nutrition, contributing also to educational and empowerment goals.

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March 21, 2014   Comments Off

Growing Food in the Suburbs: Estimating the Land Potential for Sub-urban Agriculture in Waterloo, Ontario

Suburban backyards in South London. Etching by Anthony Gross (1930’s).

Promotion of urban agriculture could be beneficial in post-war sub-urban neighbourhoods

By Caitlin M. Port, Markus Moos
Planning Practice & Research
Volume 29, Issue 2, 2014
pages 152-170


This study uses Geographic Information System analysis to measure the land potential for urban agriculture in four sub-urban neighbourhoods in Waterloo, Ontario. Findings show that 49–58% of land measured has potential to support urban agriculture. In older post-war sub-urban neighbourhoods, the land potential is primarily in the form of private yards. Contrary, newer sub-urban neighbourhoods, incorporating new urbanist ideals, have smaller yards but more public green space. Challenges and opportunities for urban agriculture will differ between new and older sub-urban areas due to differences in neighbourhood design.

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March 21, 2014   Comments Off

Hope blossoms among researchers for future of urban farming in San Francisco Bay area


A step toward their long-term goal: a physical center for urban agriculture research on campus.

By Tahmina Achekzai
The Daily Californian
March 13, 2014


Those in opposition to development argue that the Gill Tract is the only remaining plot of Class 1 soil in the East Bay Area, making it ideal land for potential urban farming and agriculture research.

Though development is only planned for the plot just south of the tract, Magnolia Barrett, UC Berkeley senior and Occupy member, said that the plot could be agriculturally viable as well.

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March 21, 2014   Comments Off

What if? New York as A Giant Urban Farm

For the past six years, the urban research nonprofit Terreform has carefully considered exactly what New York City would look like if everything New Yorkers ate was grown inside city limits.

The New York City (Steady) State is considering what it would mean if the city’s 8 million residents were entirely self-sufficient, from the food they eat to the fuel they burn.

By Adele Peters
Fast CoExist
Mar 6, 2014


“At some level, it’s absurd,” says Michael Sorkin, who leads Terreform. “We discovered that with intense use of vertical agriculture and a change in diet, we could in fact physically provide the facilities to grow 2,500 decent calories for every resident in New York. But the energy estimates were so enormous we estimated that 25 nuclear power plants would be required.”

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March 14, 2014   Comments Off

Seminar on Urban Agriculture in the European Parliament, Brussels


Feeding the City in Europe and the World – Urban Agriculture – an Integral Part of Urban Planning

4th of March 2014 at 16.30-18.30

Under the Auspices of the Members of the European Parliament:
Göran Färm, Swedish Social Democratic Party (S&D Group)
Kent Johansson, Swedish Centre Party (Alde Group)

By 2050, 90% of the world’s population will live inside cities.
Already today, 70% of the world’s arable land is used for crop production.
According to the UNDP, estimates show that urban agriculture already delivers 20% of today’s food.

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March 2, 2014   Comments Off

Alberta City of Airdrie releases findings of citizen report on urban agriculture


The report indicated high levels of support for urban agriculture initiatives on public lands and City-owned spaces, and lower levels of support for initiatives on private property.

By Sara Wilson
Airdrie City View
Feb 20, 2014


Residential support for City-operated community gardens came in at 94.3 per cent in favour, rooftop gardens received 88.6 per cent support, edible landscaping garnered 85 per cent approval rating and beehives on public lands received 57.9 per cent approval. The report indicated residents support for private/backyards were slightly lower at 81.6 per cent for front yard edible gardens, backyard hens received less support at 57.1 per cent and backyard bees just garnering 50.7 per cent support.

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February 27, 2014   Comments Off

Kansas City’s Urban Food Map

See it here.

Get connected with the farms, gardens and markets in your neighborhood and help Kansas City get growing!

By Cultivate Kansas City
Feb 2014


We are thrilled to launch our interactive Get Growing KC Map! This is a wonderful resource for our community to connect with urban farmers, community gardens, educational gardens and farmers markets. Go in and add your farm, garden or market! You can upload a photo, tell people where to find your produce, or let the community know if you have garden plots available! Get connected with the farms, gardens and markets in your neighborhood and help Kansas City get growing.

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February 17, 2014   Comments Off

France: What if community gardens could feed cities?


Urban agriculture in the form of community gardens interests INRA researchers at AgroParisTech for their quantitative as well as their qualitative contribution to feeding the local population, and also for their innovative practices with respect to cultivation choices and consumption modes.

Pourias J Aubry C. 2013. Locally grown food within cities: food function of Parisian associative gardens Comm au
INRA Science and Impact
Jan 10, 2014

Up to 1000 ha of community gardens: a surface equivalent to that used by market gardeners in the Ile-de-France region

Despite the amount of land they cover (while awaiting the results of an ongoing inventory by the Institute for Urban Planning and Development for the Ile-de-France region, it is thought that an almost equivalent area of land is covered by community gardens and by market gardeners in the region), no data are available regarding the quantities of fruits and vegetables harvested from these gardens.

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February 11, 2014   Comments Off