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Category — Planning

“Urban farms key to hunger” says keynote speaker at 29th International Horticultural Congress

cobb
Julian Cribb, the former CSIRO scientist and author of the books, Poisoned Planet and The Coming Famine, shared his thoughts at the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Brisbane.

4000 delegates from more than 100 countries, the largest horticulture gathering in Australia this year, heard the message

By Ashley Walmsley
The Land
19 Aug, 2014

Excerpt:

“The city itself is poised to change. Green cities alive with vegetation, fresh food, birds and insects will replace the polluted, soulless, concrete and glass urbanscapes of today,” he said.

Giant floating greenhouses and translucent vertical urban farms were just two ideas touted by Mr Cribb. He said by 2050, urban horticulture and farming could provide half the world’s food.

“They will ensure a highly diverse, local food supply that never fails,” Mr Cribb said.

[Read more →]

August 19, 2014   No Comments

Outrage as CP Rail begins clearing gardens, structures, along the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver BC


Global News.

“They are shocked and heartbroken by what has happened, with some shouting “shame, shame” at operators who came to clear the gardens and trees.

By Matthew Robinson
Vancouver Sun
August 14, 2014

Excerpt:

VANCOUVER – Gerry Oldman had half an hour Thursday morning to salvage as many vegetables as he could from a community garden he tended along the Arbutus Corridor before work crews hired by Canadian Pacific moved in and tore up his plants and raised beds.

The rail company had warned residents along the track weeks ago that it was restarting operations on the line and gave them until Aug. 1 to remove their property from its land before it would be removed for them.

The company made good on the threat two weeks after the deadline when a trackhoe and backhoe operated by A & B Rail Services Ltd. laid waste to about 150 metres of community gardens located south of Southwest Marine Drive.

[Read more →]

August 15, 2014   Comments Off

Report predicts value of London’s edible gardens at £1.4 million – and counting

reap

“We know that London can’t feed itself but the aim of this initiative was to see just how much food we can grow…”

Capital Growth
A Sustain Publication
July 2014

London’s food growing gardens and urban farms are producing food worth at least £1.4 million per year, according to a new report published today by Capital Growth, London’s food growing network. Using data collected by a sample of 160 food growing spaces located in community gardens, schools, allotments, parks and farms across the capital, the report shows how veg patches all over London are putting fresh, seasonal and ultra-local food on thousands (and potentially millions) of plates.

The weights of community-grown fruit, vegetables, honey and eggs were recorded by members of the Capital Growth food growing network, which has over 2,000 registered spaces, many based in low-income areas of London. “We know that London can’t feed itself but the aim of this initiative was to see just how much food we can grow, and we have been able to use our innovative online Harvest-ometer tool to record the harvest of a wide range of different growing spaces,” explained Sarah Williams from Capital Growth. “The response has been extremely positive, with about one tenth of our member spaces clocking up over £150,000 of produce during the course of a year, and contributing portions of healthy fruit and veg to over a quarter-of-a-million meals”

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August 13, 2014   Comments Off

Urban agriculture: a global analysis of the space constraint to meet urban vegetable demand

popworld
Figure 1. PAN a (Percentage of urban Area Needed) to meet the actual consumption of vegetables by urban dwellers through UA (target A). Click on image for larger file.

UA should also be actively promoted in smaller cities, rather than focussing exclusively on large cities, because smaller urban areas actually comprise the majority of the total urban area.

By F Martellozzo1, J-S Landry1, D Plouffe1, V Seufert1, P Rowhani and N Ramankutty1
Environmental Research Letters Volume 9 Number 6
Published 18 June 2014

Abstract

Urban agriculture (UA) has been drawing a lot of attention recently for several reasons: the majority of the world population has shifted from living in rural to urban areas; the environmental impact of agriculture is a matter of rising concern; and food insecurity, especially the accessibility of food, remains a major challenge. UA has often been proposed as a solution to some of these issues, for example by producing food in places where population density is highest, reducing transportation costs, connecting people directly to food systems and using urban areas efficiently. However, to date no study has examined how much food could actually be produced in urban areas at the global scale.

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August 5, 2014   Comments Off

Detroit’s secret weapon against food insecurity

detlight

If other cities experience an economic collapse similar to Detroit’s, the nationwide urban farming infrastructure may grow yet further.

By Ned Resnikoff
MSNBC
07/25/14

There’s still quite a bit of hunger in Detroit, and urban agriculture alone probably won’t relieve it. So far, the produce coming from the city’s urban gardens has done more to supplement other food sources than replace them.

Gleaners Community Food Bank has even started its own community garden, producing between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds of fresh produce per year, but Brisson says he doesn’t expect those efforts to measurably bring down hunger in Detroit.

[Read more →]

August 1, 2014   Comments Off

1949 commuter train film shows Vancouver corridor land which today is in ‘community gardens versus railway dispute’

1949 film of the Interurban rail service from downtown Vancouver to Marpole and the Fraser River

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor Community Gardens could lose 60-70% of garden land space

City of Richmond Archives
Published on July 21, 2014

This clip shows the B.C.E.R. Lulu Island Line interurban on its run from downtown Vancouver through the Arbutus corridor to Marpole and the Fraser River Trestle. Filmed by tram enthusiast Ted Clark around 1949, the original 16 mm film underwent conservation treatment in 2012 and then was digitized. The complete film on DVD, along with a detailed shot list, can be purchased at the City of Richmond Archives for $20.00.

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July 21, 2014   Comments Off

World cities, home to most people, to add 2.5 billion more by 2050: U.N.

citipopClick on image for larger file.

Tokyo is the world’s most populous city with 38 million inhabitants, followed by Delhi with 25 million, Shanghai with 23 million and Mexico City, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, each with around 21 million people.

“Managing urban areas has become one of the most important development challenges of the 21st century,” Wilmoth said.

By Mirjam Donath
United Nations
Jul 10, 2014

Excerpt:

(Reuters) – More than half of the world’s seven billion people live in urban areas, with the top “mega cities” – with more than 10 million inhabitants – being Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, according to a United Nations report on Thursday.

That proportion is expected to jump, so that more than six billion people will be city dwellers by 2045, the U.N.’s World Urbanization Prospects report said. link.reuters.com/buj42w

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July 20, 2014   Comments Off

A new vision for urban farming

wargard1919 War Gardens medallion.

A model where agriculture is reintegrated into urban and suburban areas — and locally produced food is sold and consumed locally.

By Jason Reed and Robert Puro
Daily News
July 7, 2014
Jason Reed, a movie producer formerly with Disney, and Robert Puro are co-founders of Seedstock.com, a Los Angeles-based social venture dedicated to promoting innovation and investment in sustainable and urban agriculture.

Excerpt:

One key to improving the urban farm system is aggregation. It’s easier, and certainly more cost-effective because of its scale, to collect on a daily basis hundreds of boxes of lettuce, truckloads of tomatoes, etc., sort them and then designate their ultimate destination — which is usually another, smaller sorting operation within a city. In the large-scale commercial farming operation, it’s one crop with one fleet of semi trucks from one aggregated source. The aggregation system for urban farming is obviously different — which means it’s riskier for the entrepreneur who wants to create that network.

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July 15, 2014   Comments Off

Tucson City may ditch proposed rules on urban agriculture

closer
Infographic: Urban Agriculture Proposals in Tucson.

The chorus of opposition has made some council members wonder if the city is looking for a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

By Darren DaRonco
Arizona Daily Star
July 1, 2014

Excerpt:

Proposed limits on how many chickens and goats city residents can keep in their backyards may be dumped before they’re ever adopted.

The same goes for new rules governing when you can sell your homegrown fruits and vegetables to your neighbors.

Tucson City Council members are having second thoughts about even bringing the changes to a public vote in the wake of outraged opposition from urban farmers who see their rights being impinged.

[Read more →]

July 13, 2014   Comments Off

A first spatial database on urban agriculture in the city of Rome

GIS_mapSMGIS_ map (a view of the dataset on the whole urban area, the points are the poligons centroids). Click on image for larger file.

Farming the Ethernal City

Eng. Flavio Lupia
Italian Institute for Agricultural Economics (INEA), Rome (ITALY)
July 2014

Urban agriculture (UA) has been acknowledged for several positive effects such as access to fresh food, human activities moderation, agro-biodiversity and social and cultural relationships.

In the city of Rome due to social and economical trends this kind of activities are spreading, but so far very few attempts has been addressed to inventorying the UA areas (e.g. community gardens, residential gardens, school gardens, illegal vegetable gardens, urban farms, etc.) through Earth Observations techniques. Some mapping experiences have been carried out but all lack of a well established methodology to be applied for a complete inventory.

[Read more →]

July 11, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver could lose more than 10% of community garden plots due to Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decision

rail3sm
CPR train passing the Maple Street Community Gardens in 2001. Photo by Sharon Slack taken at the corner of 6th Avenue and Maple Street. Click on image for larger file.

Approximately 425 of the 4000 community gardens plots in Vancouver will be affected

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor could lose 60-70% of gardening land space.

Below is a letter to the President of CPR from a longtime community gardener in the Maple Community Garden.

By Deirdre Phillips
Maple Street Community Gardener
July 9th, 2014
(Must read. Mike)

To:
E. Hunter Harrison, CEO CP Rail (care of Ed Greenberg)
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Canadian Pacific
Wellington, Florida

“We have historic ties with communities along our tracks and our programs make contributions to the quality of life in these towns and cities.” CP Rail

Dear E. Hunter Harrison,

The above quote from your “Community Investment” section on your website is in complete contradiction to the power play that you and your executives are posing with the City of Vancouver – whom you refer to as ‘other parties’. You are threatening to destroy all the community gardens by July 31st, 2014 along the Arbutus Corridor simply because you can’t get what you are looking for in your negotiations with the City of Vancouver for the 66 foot wide ribbon of land along the Arbutus Corridor.

Your threat to remove what you call ‘excess vegetation’ along the tracks in the Arbutus Corridor by July 31st, 2014 is pure manipulation and quite a transparent attempt to get all of the community gardeners along the corridor to do your dirty work for you by putting pressure on the City of Vancouver. Yes, all of us gardeners love organic dirt but not dirty politics and your goal to maximize profits for your shareholders.

[Read more →]

July 10, 2014   Comments Off

What Tucsonans are saying about urban agriculture proposals

maryc

“So have you had complaints from individuals saying, ‘Hey, there’s a group of thugs selling vegetables?’ Just wondering.”

Arizona Daily Star
June 28, 2014

Excerpt:

We’ll give Principal Planner Adam Smith the first word here, as he was no doubt feeling a bit henpecked by the end of the meeting.

On the city’s role:

“We’re making every attempt to (make clarification) where there is none in our current code. And where we’ve fallen short, as I’ve been hearing quite a bit tonight, just let us know.

“I don’t want you to see this as a staff-versus-you kind of relationship. Staff is very open to making amendments to the proposal.”

— Adam Smith,
Tucson’s principal planner and code expert

[Read more →]

July 7, 2014   Comments Off

University of California launches urban agriculture website

calua

“We’ll also share stories about urban farms around California and news around the state about urban agriculture policies and initiatives,”

By Pamela Kan-Rice
UC California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
July 2, 2014

Excerpt:

As local food has gained popularity, more city folks are growing food in their own backyards. Now they have a new online resource to consult about urban farming. The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has launched a website to provide practical, science-based information for urban agriculture.

At the website at http://ucanr.edu/urbanag, visitors will find information on raising livestock, crop production, marketing and policies for farming in their backyards, on a few acres, at a school or in a community setting.

Rachel Surls, a UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Los Angeles County, and a team including UCCE farm advisors, policy and advocacy experts, urban planners, agricultural economists and others created the new urban agriculture website in response to the results of a UC survey of urban farmers in California.

[Read more →]

July 5, 2014   Comments Off

Nairobi, Kenya – Transforming Local Government For Agriculture in a Megacity

nairobiSlide from the presentation.

Colour presentation

By Diana Lee-Smith
Associate, Mazingira Institute
P O Box 14186 Nairobi 00800, Kenya
May 28, 2014

Contents:

•How urban agriculture helps food security
•Nairobi’s food system inequalities
•Small food businesses
•Drivers of transformation: the policy process
•Realizing the Right to Food through spatial planning and small agribusiness promotion

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July 4, 2014   Comments Off

CP Rail orders Vancouver rail corridor community gardens to be removed by end of July

cpr
Members of Vancouver non profit ‘the world in a garden’ surprised to hear CPR map puts half this shed on its property. They say city told them its on city land. That’s a kids beekeeping school in background.

CP Rail is carrying out land survey of disused Arbutus rail line, and is giving residents a July 31 deadline

By Steve Lus
CBC News
Jul 03, 2014

Excerpt:

In a letter to residents, the company said it has placed surveying stakes along the borders of its land, and will remove any property left after July 31, such as sheds, storage containers, vehicles and community gardens.

The company admits a dispute with the city over the railway’s right to develop the land is behind the efforts to reactivate the line, which has not been used in about 15 years.

In recent years the inactive right of way has become a popular dog walking spot, and sprouted community fruit and vegetable gardens, but the railway has been trying to get plans for a property development approved.

[Read more →]

July 3, 2014   Comments Off