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Category — Planning

Hong Kong’s quest for the Tesla of food

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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   No Comments

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

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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   No Comments

Agricultura Urbana – Espacios de Cultivo para una Ciudad Sostenibles

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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   No Comments

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

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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

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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

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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

The State Of Urban Agriculture in Toledo

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Glass City Goal Gal, Liz Harris, In the goat pen on Mentor St.

In Rust Belt cities like Toledo, where populations are dwindling and vacant lots abound, urban farms are community-driven solutions that lend a progressive thinking to the renewal process.

The Toledo Paper
Aug 30, 2017

Excerpt:

How can Toledo government support urban farming initiatives seeking to out healthy food in neighborhoods that need it the most? Smart legislation provides one potential answer.
Legislation has always played a central role in the use of land and resources. A recently championed “Right to Grow Ordinance,” prompted by the city’s treatment of Thomas Jackson, is the work of a team of experienced urban agriculturists, a zoning expert, and an attorney at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, formed by Sean Nestor, co-chair of the Lucas County Green Party ( and sometime City Paper contributing writer).

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September 5, 2017   Comments Off on The State Of Urban Agriculture in Toledo

Australia: Peri-urban farming: It’s a battle just to survive

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Farmers on Melbourne’s outer urban fringe are battling right-to-farm conflicts, skyrocketing rates and the loss of rural services — and are being outbid by residential developers for land.

By Peter Hunt
The Weekly Times
August 29, 2017

Excerpt:

Recent high-profile right-to-farm disputes have come on the back of massive population growth, with peri-urban councils’ populations expected to grow by 45.32 per cent by 2031, compared with Victorian regional cities’ growth of 26.7 per cent.

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September 3, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Peri-urban farming: It’s a battle just to survive

Hilltop Urban Farm in South Pittsburgh is set to become the largest urban farm in the USA

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Dignitaries at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hilltop Urban Farm. Photo by Brian Conway.

“First ribbon-cutting for a farm in probably 100 years in the City of Pittsburgh,” quipped Mayor Bill Peduto at the future site of Hilltop Urban Farm, a 107-acre property in the city’s tiny St. Clair neighborhood in South Pittsburgh that includes 23 acres of farmland.

By Brian Conway
Next Pittsburg
August 24, 2017

Excerpt:

Hilltop Urban Farm will include, among other things, a three-acre CSA farm, three-acre farmer incubation program, one-acre youth farm, farmer’s market building, 5000-square foot event barn, stormwater retention ponds, fruit orchards, public community garden, an education center and more.

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August 31, 2017   Comments Off on Hilltop Urban Farm in South Pittsburgh is set to become the largest urban farm in the USA

Africa: South Sudan – survive siege conditions thanks to urban farming

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Photo credit: ©Tdh

Terre des hommes (Tdh) is helping families in Yei, a city cut off by armed forces, by sharing urban farming techniques.

Terre des hommes Foundation Child Relief
08.23.2017

Excerpt:

The situation is critical. To feed the population, the city with a population of 60,000 people must make do with a fast-dwindling supply of reserves, rare convoys of food aid, and land located in urban areas. “Urban farming helps people survive siege conditions. Ten grams of seeds, for example, can produce thousands of tomato plants,” explains Cynthia. “Since spring this year, we’ve distributed seeds and farming tools to 1540 vulnerable families, as for example single mothers and internally displaced persons. They’ve also been given gardening and storage training.” This project was launched in coordination with another Swiss NGO, EPER, which had been working in the region for years, and with local organisations.

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August 30, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: South Sudan – survive siege conditions thanks to urban farming

Glasgow’s Community Gardens: Sustainable Communities of Care

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Community gardens are not yet embedded in place or institutions – their immediate future is precarious in many cases.

Dr John Crossan
Professor Deirdre Shaw
Professor Andrew Cumbers
Professor Robert McMaste
University of Glasgow 2015

Excerpt:

The potential for community gardening is high in old industrial cities where the loss of manufacturing industry has resulted in vast areas of unused spaces. Glasgow is a particularly pertinent case with 1300 hectares of vacant and derelict land, representing 4% of its total land area and comprising 925 individual sites. As a result over 60% of Glasgow City’s population lives within 500 metres, and over 90% within 1000 metres, of a derelict site. This is important when considering issues of social and environmental justice, as most of the vacant and derelict land can be found in the most deprived areas of the city, thus, disproportionately affecting the poorest citizens (see Map 1).

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August 28, 2017   Comments Off on Glasgow’s Community Gardens: Sustainable Communities of Care

Obama Library landscapers look to South Side community gardens for inspiration

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Landscape architects for the Obama Presidential Library took a tour of some South Side community gardens as neighbors watch plans for the center with great interest.

By Leah Hope
ABC 7
Aug 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Landscape architects for the Obama Presidential Library took ABC7 Eyewitness News on an exclusive tour of some South Side community gardens as neighbors watch plans for the center with great interest.

Over 10 million heads of lettuce are harvested each year from a garden in the Pullman neighborhood. Gotham Greens makes the most of a roof off 111th Street.

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August 22, 2017   Comments Off on Obama Library landscapers look to South Side community gardens for inspiration

‘Ugly Greens’ sold by New York Urban Farm

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“Much of what’s discarded is done merely for cosmetic reasons or as a result of long distance transportation. This negatively impacts farmers, retailers and ultimately consumers.”

By Rebecca D Dumais
Fresh Plaza
Aug 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Good greens don’t have to ‘look’ pretty. Even ‘ugly’ produce is just as delicious. This is something Gotham Greens has discovered through its recent Ugly Greens movement. What may have once been considered unmarketable produce was enjoyed by the staff at work or home instead. “We’d enjoy them as part of a team meal and staff would take them home to eat,” explains CEO, Viraj Puri. “But we realized there was an opportunity to sell them while helping to bring attention to the issue of food waste.

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August 16, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Ugly Greens’ sold by New York Urban Farm

San Fransisco: Urban Agriculture or More Housing?

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The proposed community agriculture center. (Image: The Greenhouse Project) Click image to see larger file.

One block of greenhouses is all that remains of Portola’s garden industry, and its future is uncertain.

By Nuala Sawyer
SF Weekly
Aug 2nd, 2017

Excerpt:

The plot of greenhouses at 770 Woolsey St. was built in the 1920s, one of 19 that financially sustained the neighborhood’s population, which, at the turn of the 20th century, was largely immigrants from Malta and Italy. It was part of the University Mound Nursery, owned by the Garibaldi family, and these greenhouses somehow survived the neighborhood housing boom of the 1970s and ’80s, staying open until 1994.

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August 10, 2017   Comments Off on San Fransisco: Urban Agriculture or More Housing?

What stops Indian cities from growing their own food?

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India’s 377-million urban population is expected to grow by another 300 million by 2050 and yet, agricultural land is rapidly shrinking in urban areas, leaving city dwellers increasingly reliant on rural farmers for meeting their sustenance requirements.

Navya P K
Citizen Matters
Aug 1, 2017

Excerpt:

Despite adverse conditions, some farmer groups have thrived. The Yamuna bank farmers, who are not legally acknowledged at all, have been farming and selling their produce in Delhi markets for generations. In Cuttack, slum residents do farming to produce food for themselves, and sell the surplus in local markets. In 2009 in Mumbai, a charitable Trust helped the residents of Ambedkar Nagar slum clean up a garbage dump near their homes and convert it into a community farm.

These, however, largely constitute individual and sporadic successes rather than a systematic, sustained development of urban agriculture. India’s governments have been largely ignoring the issues faced by urban farmers, while continuing to promote household-level gardening.

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August 6, 2017   Comments Off on What stops Indian cities from growing their own food?