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Category — Planning

As citizens residing in megacities, we are no longer connected with farming

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What is really required is a push from urban municipalities to introduce urban farming as a social policy and to integrate urban agriculture as an integral part of urban planning and design.

By Saahil Parekh
Business Standard
June 1, 2016

Excerpt:

As citizens residing in megacities, we are no longer connected with farming. We no longer care about where our fruits and vegetables are coming from, understanding how to identify the good ones from the bad, and their nutrition value. It is an irony that we check for energy and nutrition charts on manufactured foods that we pick off the shelves or burger meals that we order at the counters of fast-food restaurants, but hardly give any thought to the salubriousness of the vegetables we buy at the sabji mandi. Our only criterion is how cheap, and the presence of pesticides or other harmful chemicals doesn’t even play on our minds.

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June 11, 2016   Comments Off on As citizens residing in megacities, we are no longer connected with farming

Learning for Sustainable Agriculture: Urban Gardening in Berlin

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In the last decade Berlin has become a hot spot and the international “capital” of urban gardening: In 2002 there were some eight urban gardens in Germany and none in Berlin, meanwhile (August 2013) there are more than 100 urban gardens in Berlin.

By Stephanie Wunder
SOLINSA
Ecologic Institute
September 2013

The study analyzes urban gardening initiatives in Berlin. It focused on the following aspects:

First, it sheds a light on how urban gardening motivates community involvement with specific reference to the development of Berlin’s urban gardening movement. It also clarifies the role of sustainability in these efforts and motivations.

Second, it looks for the success factors as well as barriers faced; with a particular focus on the role of governance structures, knowledge sharing and decision making processes.

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June 8, 2016   Comments Off on Learning for Sustainable Agriculture: Urban Gardening in Berlin

Growing Food For Growing Cities

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Transforming Food Systems In An Urbanizing World

By Douglas Bereuter and Dan Glickman, cochairs Thomas A. Reardon, principal author Endorsed by an Independent Advisory Group
The Chicago Council of Global Affairs
April 2016
124 pages

Excerpt:

Growth in the world’s cities is exploding. Today, more people live in urban areas than in rural areas. By 2050, 66 percent of the world’s people are expected to live
1n cities, feuling unprecedented demand for food. Especially low – and middle – income countries(LMICs) in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, feeding urban populations has become an urgent and critical challenge.

As cities grow, diets are changing. Urban consumers are demanding a more diversified diet, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat, and are increasingly consuming processed foods. Accompanying these shifts is the transformation of supply chains, affecting farmers, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and consumers. A process has begun, which will continue for decades, that is transforming food systems from farm to fork.

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June 8, 2016   Comments Off on Growing Food For Growing Cities

Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

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Dr Alice Franck’s Presentation On Urban Agriculture At The Sudanese Institute Of Architects (SIA)’S 4Th Scientific And Professional Conference

On 23rd May, 2016, Dr Alice Franck, Geographer and Coordinator of CEDEJ Khartoum, presented her paper at the Sudanese Institute of Architects (SIA)’s 4th Scientific and Professional conference.

Excerpt from Abstract:

My initial research into this location of intense speculation examined the future of the central areas that remained under agricultural activity and how they were gradually being transformed into urban areas (Franck 2007). The approach adopted analysed the resistance of agriculture and farmers to the spread of real estate and the pressure of competition over land ownership. Five years later, the action in favour of urban plan renewal has been drastically intensified and the capacity for resistance severely diminished; three of the five market gardening areas (Tuti, Shambat, Abu Se’id, Abu Rof and Mogran) observed during fieldwork in 2001–5 are subject to huge real estate projects (Mogran, Abu Se’id and Tuti). In this chapter, I focus my analysis on how landowners and the entire agricultural sector can both adapt to and confront the transformation.

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May 26, 2016   Comments Off on Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

Expedition agroparks

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Research by design into sustainable development and agriculture in the network society

By Peter J.A.M. Smeets
Wageningen Academic Pubishers
2011 Pages: 320

This book is the result of several years of expedition into the development of metropolitan FoodClusters. The author’s fascination for the agricultural landscapes in and around metropolises led him to the conclusion that improving the efficiency of agriculture is the most effective way to safeguard the quality of such landscapes. The wasteful modes of production developed in the past 150 years have led to a serious decline in both the surface area and the quality of the highly valued landscapes.

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May 24, 2016   Comments Off on Expedition agroparks

Colorado Springs: New ‘TinyFarm’ in town wants zoning change to sell veggies from home

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yourmyYour neighbourhood is my neighbourhood – Tanja Esch | Urban Art Now

Pikes Peak Small Farms PBC estimates the city has more than 18,000 acres of farmable infill. And if, as the group’s prospectus claims, a half-acre can eventually feed 60 people, the tiny farm model is ripe to do big things.

By Nat Stein
Colorado Springs Independent
May 18, 2016

Excerpt:

As it stands, that would be considered a garage sale under current land-use definitions. Per zoning regulations, citizens can have two garage sales a year with combined sales over $300 subject to tax.

Lonna Thelen in the city’s land use division told the Indy that urban agriculture has different designations for those that have a retail component and those that don’t. Community gardens without on-site sales are permitted in residential zones, but adding that sales component makes it crop production, zoned only for agricultural districts. Certain home occupations are permitted by the land use division as long as hours of operation, number of employees, volume of customers, exterior signage and off-street parking fit the city’s parameters.

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May 23, 2016   Comments Off on Colorado Springs: New ‘TinyFarm’ in town wants zoning change to sell veggies from home

Agrihoods take root: a housing trend rooted in agriculture

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The Cannery, a community designed around a small farm in Davis, about 20 miles west of California’s capital, Sacramento.

By Michelle Locke
The Associated Press
May 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Master developer The New Home Co. was looking to build a neighborhood, not just homes, and market research showed that people wanted to connect to community. So “it made lots of sense to take this 7.5-acre piece of property and turn it into an urban farm, have that be the focus point,” says Kevin Carson, New Home president.

Residents can sign up for a weekly box of produce from the farm, and no matter what their level of participation they get to feel part of something, says Carson. “They can see the pumpkins being harvested or the tomatoes being planted or the different seasons that happen on a farm.”

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May 22, 2016   Comments Off on Agrihoods take root: a housing trend rooted in agriculture

The real value of urban farming. (Hint: It’s not always the food.)

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The environmental benefits of urban farming get even more complicated when we consider indoor “vertical farms,” which are often touted as a sustainable option that use less soil and water. Although designs differ, some of these set-ups can use an enormous amount of energy, especially if they require artificial lighting.

By Brad Plumer
VOX
May 16, 2016

Excerpt:

“It’s hard to make sweeping generalizations here,” Santo told me. When designed right, urban farms can make some modest but valuable improvements to the sustainability of our food system. But when designed poorly, they can end up being even worse for the environment — say, if they’re using fertilizer inefficiently and polluting nearby waters with nitrogen run-off.

In our conversation, Santo mentioned one feature of urban farms that often gets shortchanged in dry policy discussions: “They can reconnect people with how to grow food.”

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May 22, 2016   Comments Off on The real value of urban farming. (Hint: It’s not always the food.)

RUAF renewed its Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems

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RUAF Update – May 2016

Excerpt:

In a recent meeting (18-21 April 2016) in its new home base in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, RUAF Foundation, with several of its founding partners and a number of new partner institutions have renewed the RUAF Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems.

This new partnership replaces the RUAF member network that existed since the start of RUAF in 2000. The current members of the RUAF Partnership are a mix of municipalities, research institutes, and NGOs and include: the International Water Management Institute based in Colombo, Sri Lanka; the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences based in Beijing, China;

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May 13, 2016   Comments Off on RUAF renewed its Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems

A Review Of The Benefits And Limitations Of Urban Agriculture

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Vacant Lots To Vibrant Plot

By Raychel Santo Anne Palmer Brent Kim
John Hopkins Centre for Liveable Future
May 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Recommendations for framing the merits of urban agriculture.

Urban agriculture should be evaluated for the multifaceted nature of its outcomes – social, health, environmental, and economic – and not merely for its potential outputs in terms of food production or economic development measures.

The list below offers a number of evidence-based talking points for advocates seeking to advance urban agriculture policy and programs:

1) Urban agriculture’s most significant benefits center around its ability to increase social capital, community well-being, and civic engagement with the food system.

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May 9, 2016   Comments Off on A Review Of The Benefits And Limitations Of Urban Agriculture

Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

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sothlHome in the Southlands, City of Vancouver. Photo by Stephen Rees.

“There are so many farmers who want to get into this kind of land. It would be nice if [the owners] had an incentive.”

By Francis Bula
Globe and Mail
May 5, 2016

Excerpt:

That kind of standoff throughout the region has Metro Vancouver exploring ways to change the tax system so that people who own agricultural land will be encouraged to use it for farming. The region is also looking at ways to take away the benefits from people who make it look like they are farming when they really aren’t.

All of that matters because Metro Vancouver has more farmland within its boundaries than any other North American city and because the region’s 2,600 farms produce the highest revenues in the province. It’s estimated that a hectare of land can produce at least $36,000 worth of vegetables in a year.

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May 6, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

An Urban Grower’s Guide: Selling the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh

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The goal of the guide is to encourage city residents to grow and sell produce by providing resources that explain the relevant rules and regulations.

By Grow Pittsburgh, Penn State Extension, and Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
April 2016

Excerpt:

Writing a Business Plan

Writing a business plan can be a long process, but these resources will help you out:

Penn State Extension provides many resources from an agriculture perspective. Visit the Creating a Business Plan page, or Start Farming, which is a comprehensive resource hub that covers the entire scope of production, business and state/federal regulations for those new to growing for profit.

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April 26, 2016   Comments Off on An Urban Grower’s Guide: Selling the Food You Grow in Pittsburgh

Korea helps urban dwellers start small rural farms

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President Park Geun-hye listens to a developer of a mobile farming game during the 2015 A Farm Show in Seoul. (Yonhap file photo)

A unique exposition designed to help urban dwellers relocate to rural areas to start small farms will kick off in Seoul next week under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s key news service, organizers said Thursday.

By Kang Yoon-seung
Yon hap News
Apr 21, 2016

The organizers say the expo will be helpful to urban residents who are dreaming of leading a slow and peaceful life instead of being chased by hectic urban routines.

In 2014, the number of South Korean households escaping urban areas to start an agricultural career came to 44,586, up 37.5 percent from a year earlier. Although the official data is not yet available, experts said the figure is estimated to have hovered above 50,000 in 2015, which is more than a 10-fold growth from 4,067 posted in 2010.

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April 25, 2016   Comments Off on Korea helps urban dwellers start small rural farms

Why urban agriculture isn’t a panacea for Africa’s food crisis

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sfrIn the last few years, Cape Town has witnessed the proliferation of hundreds of community gardens and urban farms.

It is clear that urban agriculture can have significant benefits for some participating households. But we are concerned about the absence of wider evidence supporting its potential to address food insecurity beyond those households.

By Gareth Haysom, Researcher at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Jane Battersby, Senior Researcher in Urban Food Security and Food Systems, University of Cape Town
Economies
April 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Proponents of urban agriculture offer figures suggesting that as many as 40% of African urban residents are involved in some form of agriculture. Such figures require far greater interrogation. In the case of Cape Town in South Africa, research conducted in low-income areas of the city in 2008 found that less than 5% of poor residents were involved in any form of urban agriculture. In reality, those most active in urban agriculture were found to be wealthier people in low-income areas.

Context is a further determining factor. Research shows that in towns where the municipal boundary extended into areas with more rural characteristics, urban agriculture was higher.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Why urban agriculture isn’t a panacea for Africa’s food crisis

Empty soccer field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, being turned into urban agricultural site

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The City, along with Roots to Harvest, unveiled a new program and site plan lastnight that will transform the former soccer fields adjacent to Volunteer Pool into a productive urban agriculture site.

“This partnership with Roots to Harvest is a great opportunity to explore how urban parks can become more productive environments,” said Werner Schwar, the city’s supervistor of parks and open-space planning.

By Leith Dunick
NewsWatch
April 12, 2016

Excerpt:

The goal of the project, to be paid for with more than $300,000 supplied by several different organizations, is to provide a place for young adults to learn about leadership and employment skills in a variety of ways, including bee keeping, gardening and raising rabbits.

“Nothing instills a strong work ethic in young people better than agricultural work,” said Julie Rosenthal, a former farmer from Murillo and now the lead facilitator with Roots to Harvest, who has partnered with the City of Thunder Bay to launch the ambitious project.

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April 16, 2016   Comments Off on Empty soccer field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, being turned into urban agricultural site