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Category — Planning

In West Philadelphia, a community garden threatened by development

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John Lindsay (left) and James Seward hold fresh produce from the community garden on Wiota Street. They are concerned that developers are interested in bidding on the property. ( Margo Reed / Staff Photographer)

It’s not the only garden facing potential closure in the rapidly developing area, which has been identified as one in need of community-garden preservation by a nonprofit devoted to the cause.

By Tricia L. Nadolny
Philly.com
Sept 18, 2016

Excerpt:

Unlike a traditional community garden with neighbors claiming their own plots, Wiota Street is designed to grow as much produce as possible.

The sweet, green, and jalapeño peppers are in plot three; celery, rhubarbs, and beans are in plot four; flowers are in plot five; and turnips are in plot six. A peach tree anchors the property. Compost bins run along one wall, and a grape arbor stands near the Powelton Avenue fence. Herbs, marked with colorful signs painted by students from a local charter school, are in the far corner.

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September 25, 2016   No Comments

UK: Residents rise up against’ plans to build over London’s oldest allotments

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Northfields Allotments.

Northfields Allotments plotholders have been informed by Pathways in recent weeks of their intentions to build over at least 10% of the nearly 200-year-old site, with further plans to construct a mix of social and private housing.

By Luke Bartlett
They is Local London
Sept 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Francesca Bussey, Northfields resident and allotment owner, said: “We live in a social housing flat with no access to a garden of our own.

“In 18 months my daughter and I have transformed the plot from weeds and brambles to our own little patch of heaven.

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September 25, 2016   No Comments

Africa: Can farmers extend their cultivation areas in urban agriculture? A contribution from agronomic analysis of market gardening systems around Mahajanga (Madagascar)

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twwater
A farmer on an embankment watering two small plots.

Our study provides urban planners with insights on the respective parts played by farming systems, territorial resources and organization of marketing systems in the supply of the cities by urban agriculture.

By M. Mawoisa, C. Aubryb, M. Le Bail
Land Use Policy
17 September 2010

Abstract:

The rapid urbanization in developing countries implies an increasing pressure on urban agriculture for production. As most perishable food products come from this agriculture in close proximity to population concentrations, we analysed from an agronomic point of view how market-garden farmers can meet this increasing urban demand. This work took place in the case of Mahajanga, a secondary city with high increasing demographic rate on the Northwest coast of Madagascar. Based on preliminary surveys to characterize the farming systems (on a sample of 91 farms), 11 market-garden farmers chosen in the three main agricultural zones of the urban area were surveyed during two years.

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September 11, 2016   Comments Off on Africa: Can farmers extend their cultivation areas in urban agriculture? A contribution from agronomic analysis of market gardening systems around Mahajanga (Madagascar)

Ottawa: Gardens to be demolished as part of Hydro One upgrade

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Geoff Radnor gestures to one of his neighbour’s gardens, planted in the mid-80s in the transmission line right-of-way. (Stu Mills/CBC)

‘I don’t understand why they don’t just put the tower up and let us work the rest,’ says one resident

Stu Mills
CBC News
Sept 7, 2016

Excerpt:

Residents in the Riverview neighbourhood say Hydro One is taking a “scorched earth” policy to their community vegetable gardens.

The electricity provider plans to upgrade the towers and twin the existing, single 115 kV transmission line between the Overbrook Transformer Station on Coventry Road and Balena Park in the Riverview neighbourhood next April.

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September 7, 2016   Comments Off on Ottawa: Gardens to be demolished as part of Hydro One upgrade

Survey seeks ideas on how to make urban agriculture easier in St. Louis

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Niang washes some freshly picked produce before selling it to Saint Louis University. Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

“Some of these ideas might impact communities with vacant land and we want to make sure the impacts are positive, that the community would like to see these agricultural activities,”

By Eli Chen
StL Public Radio
Aug 29, 2016

Excerpt:

The survey has received more than 600 responses, with many describing the challenges of acquiring land in St. Louis to set up a farm. In particular, residents said that land isn’t affordable, residential taxes are too high to grow food and there is also no guarantee that a property managed by the city’s Land Reutilization Authority won’t be bought by someone else.

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September 4, 2016   Comments Off on Survey seeks ideas on how to make urban agriculture easier in St. Louis

Growing Pains for Detroit’s Urban Farms

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Alyssa Trimmer and her partner grow vegetables on lots in Detroit’s Virginia Park neighborhood. (Jessica Leigh Hester/CityLab)

(2nd in series) Agriculture flourishes in the city’s vacant lots—but can it survive the push towards revitalization?

By Jessica Leigh Hester
The Atlantic: City Lab
Aug 30, 2016

Excerpt:

Two years ago, Brittany Bradd, an activist in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood, bought an acre of land that she planned to farm. Ever since, she’s been trying to buy an additional property that remains in limbo. “Some lots are just paperwork in boxes,” she says. Another farmer told me that he plans to visit the Land Bank in person—he wants to leave with a receipt in hand.

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September 1, 2016   Comments Off on Growing Pains for Detroit’s Urban Farms

Detroit’s Urban Growers Are Farming for Their Lives

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Murals testify to the community-minded design of Mark Covington’s farm. (Jessica Leigh Hester/CityLab)

This is the first installment of a three-part series. The second will explore how urban agriculture fits in to the city’s redevelopment plans; the third dives in to putting the harvest to use.

By Jessica Leigh Hester
From The Atlantic
City Lab
Aug 29, 2016

Excerpt:

By selling his produce at markets and to local restaurants, Willerer is able to support his family from his land. He sells about 200 pounds of salad greens each weekend at Eastern Market, one of the country’s oldest produce marts; an 8-oz. bag of his greens goes for $5. His home and farm are insurance policies against another economic tumble.

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August 31, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit’s Urban Growers Are Farming for Their Lives

Gurgaon, India: Lease land for ‘kitchen gardens’

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souli Click on image for larger file.

The department will make available farming land in Bhondsi nearby, where residents can go on weekends or in their spare time, and grow vegetables non-commercially for their household needs.

India Times
Aug 28, 2016

Excerpt:

Anyone interested in leasing land can approach the district horticulture officer, who will help the resident decide the amount of land they would require, and the crop(s) they can grow on it. The land will be leased out at least for a year at a nominal rate, which has not been decided yet. However, regular maintenance, watering, security, etc, of the garden will be the leasee’s responsibility, which might be a drag for corporate employees looking for a part-time hobby.

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August 29, 2016   Comments Off on Gurgaon, India: Lease land for ‘kitchen gardens’

Erie, Pennsylvania planners seek more research on urban farming

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erie

“I want to start my own business,” Sachse said. “So much of the vacant property is in residential neighborhoods and half of the lots in this neighborhood are vacant.”

By David Bruce
Go Erie
Aug 17, 2016

Excerpt:

Erie Planning Commission members agreed with Erie City Council that converting vacant lots in the city into small crop farms could be a good idea, but more research is needed.

Commission members voted 3-0 on Tuesday to recommend the city’s zoning office examine how zoning ordinances be amended to permit urban agriculture on residential properties in the city.

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August 29, 2016   Comments Off on Erie, Pennsylvania planners seek more research on urban farming

Canada’s Environmentalist, David Suzuki: How much food can cities produce?

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David Suzuki is 80 years old. He is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and cofounder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Cities needn’t be wastelands of car-choked roads and pavement. Incorporating food production into ever-expanding urban areas makes cities more livable and enhances the natural systems that keep us alive and healthy.

By David Suzuki
Georgia Straight
Aug 25, 2016

Excerpt:

It’s still possible to grow a lot of food in urban areas, especially with composting and enriched-soil techniques. Ladner writes that Toronto plans to supply 25 percent of its fruit and vegetable production within city limits by 2025, and a study from Michigan State University concluded that Detroit could grow 70 percent of its vegetables and 40 percent of its fruit on 570 vacant lots covering 5,000 acres of city land.

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August 25, 2016   Comments Off on Canada’s Environmentalist, David Suzuki: How much food can cities produce?

South Africa: Use urban agriculture to grow the economy

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salPhoto by Zanele Zulu.

Urban agriculture makes use of human aptitude rather than machinery and develops skills that can be applied to other industries in the long run, says the writer.

By Pierre Heistein
IOL
Aug 16, 2016
Pierre Heistein is the instructor of UCT’s applied economics for smart decision making course.

Excerpt:

Initially the provincial programme will help households to bolster their income and diversify their dinner table. But thereafter the number of small farming operations will conglomerate into a larger economic system. Resellers and wholesalers will appear, possibly co-ordinating the production of small farmers and collectively marketing and selling their produce. The economy will grow from the bottom.

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August 24, 2016   Comments Off on South Africa: Use urban agriculture to grow the economy

Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming

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Around the world, farmers are ageing as the sector fails to attract younger talent who head instead to cities in search of work

By Magdalena Mis and Isaiah Esipisu
Thomson Reuters Foundation
22 August 2016

Excerpt:

In an urbanising world, city farming has become fashionable in recent years, with urban farms mushrooming from Accra to Mumbai and London.

According to a 2014 study, city dwellers were farming an area the size of the European Union.

But while the trend is welcome, urban farmers won’t be able to feed themselves any time soon, experts say.

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August 22, 2016   Comments Off on Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming

Sowing Seeds in the City: Ecosystem and Municipal Services

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New Book: From White House to Tacoma, WA, urban agriculture is growing

By Sally Brown (Editor), Kristen McIvor (Editor), Elizabeth Hodges Snyder (Editor)
Hardcover: 407 pages
Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2016 edition (April 26, 2016)
(Must see. Mike)

Summary:

Urban agriculture has the potential to change our food systems, enhance habitat in our cities, and to morph urban areas into regions that maximize rather than disrupt ecosystem services. The potential impacts of urban agriculture on a range of ecosystem services including soil and water conservation, waste recycling, climate change mitigation, habitat, and food production is only beginning to be recognized.

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August 19, 2016   Comments Off on Sowing Seeds in the City: Ecosystem and Municipal Services

Urban agriculture may be inefficient, but it’s a model for a sustainable future

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easth
Rooftop garden at Eastdale Collegiate Institute in Toronto built by FoodShare Toronto. Students grow fresh fruit and produce on the roof of the school which is used by the school’s culinary program and cafeteria.
(for The Globe and Mail/Ian Clarke)

Urban agriculture is not a panacea and it can’t replace rural farms. But it can reduce the carbon footprint of our food, help create resilient cities and food systems, reduce the urban heat island and air-conditioning costs, reduce demands on city infrastructure and create jobs.

By Ian Clarke
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Aug. 10, 2016

Excerpt:

Globally, a recent survey found that 5.7 per cent of the world’s total cropland is urban, and that it produces more food per hectare than traditional rural farms. Studies have shown that Toronto has 6,200 hectares that could be made available for agriculture on unused rooftops and hydro corridors. These green roofs would provide an ongoing municipal savings of approximately $37-million a year in infrastructure costs and additional savings to businesses and residents on air-conditioning costs. In 2009, research from Detroit showed that if 20 per cent of fresh food was grown within the city, it would create 4,700 jobs and bring in nearly $20-million in taxes. Urban agriculture is very efficient at producing both food and jobs.

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August 14, 2016   Comments Off on Urban agriculture may be inefficient, but it’s a model for a sustainable future

Detroit plots course on land use as leader in urban farming

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Greg Willerer, owner of Brother Nature Produce, harvests some leafy greens for a local restaurant. He farms in the city’s north Corktown neighborhood and is one of dozens of Detroit farmers trying to carve out a living. Photo by Larry Peplin.

Willerer and other farmers are eager to expand land ownership in a city that is a national leader in urban farming. But city planners don’t have green thumbs when it comes to figuring out how much of the vacant land should be farmed and how much preserved for other uses.

By Marti Benedetti
Crains’ Detroit Business
Aug 6, 2016

Except:

Dan Carmody, Eastern Market president, said Detroit is a national leader in urban farming because of “the sheer number of people participating in it.”

He said there are 20,000 people working on 1,400 gardens or growing sites in the city.

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August 11, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit plots course on land use as leader in urban farming