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Category — Policy

City of Powell River, British Columbia, considers regulation of urban farms

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powrCity of Powell River council is looking at introducing bylaw amendments that would regulate commercial sales of fruit and vegetables grown on residential lots. Chris Bolster photo.

Bylaw changes would allow licences for agricultural micro-businesses

By Chris Bolster
Powell River Peak
July 22, 2016

Excerpt:

City of Powell River council is looking at amending bylaws to regulate urban farms, micro-businesses that have operated in a legal grey zone for years.

Zoning and home-based business bylaw amendments would allow for commercial agricultural production of fruits and vegetables on all one-acre or less parcels of land zoned residential, except in mobile home parks.

“It might shock people to learn that they require a business licence to grow food on their property and sell it,” said city senior planner Jason Gow.

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July 27, 2016   No Comments

Resident fights for naturalized lawn in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

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latlwnFlowers and plants grow in Peter Graham’s naturalized garden outside his Pointe-Claire home, July 3, 2016. Allen Mcinnis / Montreal Gazette

According to the powers that be, in this case the city of Pointe-Claire, his wild and untamed front yard is an unsightly chaos of “long grass, wild shrubs and weeds in a messy fashion” that defies a nuisance bylaw. He’s been issued a $650 fine and unless he destroys it, he’ll be subject to additional fines.

By Marla Newhook,
Special To The Montreal Gazette
July 19, 2016

Excerpt:

He’s launched an online petition to change the bylaw and at last check, it’s been viewed more than 7,000 times and has garnered almost 800 signatures.

As far as I’m concerned, narrow-minded bylaws such as this one is just another excuse to force homeowners to adhere to cookie-cutter community development where citizens are penalized for creating unique and individualized outdoor space.

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July 24, 2016   No Comments

Karachi, Pakistan: Plant fruit trees to revive public parks

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frukara
Environmental activists suggest residents and local administration should come together to turn abandoned spaces into community orchards.

“The few trees we have in Karachi are because of the endeavours of the citizens, not the government and they should surely get together to plant fruit trees in their neighbourhood parks,”

By Ferya Ilyas
The Express Tribune
July 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Horticulturist Mooraj says parks in Karachi in the 60s and the 70s had many fruit bearing trees such as jujubes, java plums and mangoes. “KMC would issue contracts annually to picks fruits from these parks and use the income generated from this activity for maintenance,” he recalls.

With scores of people living below the poverty line in the city, Mooraj says fruit trees can provide food to the needy. “People should keep the greater good in mind. The trees will continue to give fruit and shade to many even after they are long gone,” he stresses.

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July 19, 2016   No Comments

Why Copenhagen Residents Want to Live on Urban Gardens

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dvasweDavid Skat Nielsen on his colony garden. (Lynsey Grosfield)

High rents are driving some Danes to not-quite-legal cabins and cottages.

By Lynsey Grosfield
City Lab
Jul 12, 2016

Excerpt:

For several years now, David Skat Nielsen has been cultivating a 7,400-square-foot patch of land on the island of Amager, in the greater Copenhagen area. Here, he pays 900 DKK ($133 USD) per month to get away from the stresses of apartment living, plant some fruit trees, build a greenhouse, and generally bask in the stillness of a hedged-in green space. Due to zoning restrictions, he can only live on the property for six months of the year, but he’s part of a growing group of Danes that would like to make these minimalistic garden lots into full-time homes.

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July 17, 2016   No Comments

A hungry Nairobi city explores urban farming

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naur
Speaking during the opening one of the projects at Baba Dogo Primary School, the county Executive for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Natural Resources Bernard Mugenyo, said the city spent Sh300,000 in developing of the green house at the school, which will act as a model learning centre and also boost both food and financial security for the school.

Nairobi county government is rolling out multi-sectoral urban farming projects in all the 17 sub counties aimed at giving impetus to enhance food security and address youth unemployment.

By Charles Mathai
MediaMax
July 11, 201

Excerpt:

The project follows the repeal of the previous by-laws and passing of Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulations 2015 by the county assembly in line with the current Constitution.

It is being implemented through the city’s Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources department, under the banner, Enhance Food security through Agribusiness and urban and Peri-urban farming Technologies.’

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July 15, 2016   Comments Off on A hungry Nairobi city explores urban farming

Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security

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ungarden UN staff and New York City Parks’ Green Thumb open the United Nations Food Garden on Nelson Mandela International Day, July 24, 2015, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

“Food security is one of the big issues that is going to be dealt with in Habitat III in relation to urbanization” said Juan Close, director of UN Habitat said here last week.

By Anne Dutt
InterPressService
July 11, 2016

Excerpt:

Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities this coming October will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security, but here in New York City, it has shown potential for much more.

Record-high levels of inequality are being felt most prominently in the world’s cities. Even In New York City, the heart of the developed world, many urban communities have food security issues.

Since the year 2000, New York City food costs have increased by 59 percent, while the average income of working adults has only increased by 17 percent.

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July 12, 2016   Comments Off on Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security

Urban Agriculture As A Global Warming Tool

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wr
Wayne Roberts.

‘In the era of global warming, urban agriculture’s ability to generate spaces for the development of social skills and adaptability is likely more important than its ability to produce food.’

By Wayne Roberts
30 ways cities can prepare for global warming
OpportunityCity, No 22
July 2016

Excerpt:

Last month, I made the case at the Grey to Green conference (put on by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in Toronto) that there are 30 expressions of urban agriculture that either prevent damage (mitigation is the official phrase), or adapt positively to damage, caused by global warming. Last week, at an Urban Food Systems Symposium at Kansas State University in Kansas City where I spoke, I learned about a lot more expressions of urban agriculture that respond to other city challenges — including refugee resettlement and poverty reduction, which Kansas excels in, thanks to the exemplary work of Cultivate Kansas City.

There are so many kinds and scales of urban ag, we need a wide umbrella term to cover them all.

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July 11, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture As A Global Warming Tool

Raising Chickens in San Diego’s Urban Neighborhoods

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chlasRaising chickens in urban areas in San Diego is a trend that’s expected to last.

In San Diego, a coop must have at least six square feet of space for each chicken.

By May Tjoa
7 San Diego
July 3, 2016

Excerpt:

Mike Handford and his wife, Lisa, live in City Heights, a densely populated neighborhood in central San Diego.

They’ve been raising chickens for the last four years. Right now, they have four hens living in their approximately 500-square-foot yard. Mike said that’s plenty of space for the hens to roam around.

Each hen typically lays one egg per day and produces droppings with a lot of nutrients.

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July 10, 2016   Comments Off on Raising Chickens in San Diego’s Urban Neighborhoods

Urban farming returning Detroit to its roots, but not without challenges

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detrepMichigan Urban Farming Initiative has repurposed some degraded Detroit houses, saving the city money. Co-founder Tyson Gersh says not owning the land he farms is ‘very frustrating.’

Perhaps another strategy would be to organize the city’s urban farmers into a unified voice, since Mr. Gersh admits with a laugh that of the 1,500 urban farms in the city, there are “1,500 different individuals” running them.

By Dave Leblanc
The Globe and Mail
Jul. 07, 2016

Excerpt:

Five years ago, it contained nothing.

Today, after four years of urban farming, the southwest corner of Custer and Brush Streets in Detroit’s North End neighbourhood has become a literal cornucopia. In the past two years, it’s pumped out 400,000 pounds of produce that has fed 2,000 households within two square miles. It has provided valuable volunteer experience for 8,000 local residents who have collectively put in 80,000 hours, which have been valued at $1.8-million (U.S.).

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July 7, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farming returning Detroit to its roots, but not without challenges

Texas: Fort Worth’s proposed urban agriculture zoning ordinance

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ftwr

The city’s proposed urban agriculture amendments would allow community gardens, urban farms, bee colonies and aquaponics on underused or vacant land without the need for rezoning.

Excerpt:

What will the changes allow?
• Urban farms.
• Aquaponics inside a covered structure.
• Sales of produce grown in all zoning districts.
Are there additional guidelines to follow?
• Each zoning district has different allowances. Generally, residential areas have more restrictions to ensure that urban agriculture activities do not disrupt residents.

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July 3, 2016   Comments Off on Texas: Fort Worth’s proposed urban agriculture zoning ordinance

United States Postal Service maintenance workers remove Berkeley community garden

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postberk

According to Zint, the garden was put in place for the people of Berkeley to claim ownership of land that belongs to the community.

By Simmone Shaw
DailyCal
June 23, 2016

Excerpt:

The community garden located outside the Berkeley Post Office was removed by United States Postal Service, or USPS, maintenance workers Wednesday, after two years of ongoing disputes between the post office and protesters.

The garden was put in place in late 2014 when homeless activists began occupying the grounds in protest of the sale of the post office to a privately owned property management company. The homeless encampment was disbanded in April, after city police and postal service workers informed the protesters that they were trespassing on government property.

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June 28, 2016   Comments Off on United States Postal Service maintenance workers remove Berkeley community garden

New Port Richey, Florida, approves urban agriculture ordinance, including residential sales

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tampaEnvironmental Committee chairman Dell deChant.

Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips said the ordinance is a positive move for the city, but may need tweaking down the road should issues or complaints arise.

By Robert Napper
Tampa Bay Times
June 22, 201

Excerpt:

With passage of the ordinance, the city will permit the commercial sale of produce from local gardens in residential, commercial and industrial zones. Sales in residential areas would be restricted to once every six months from a particular location, and a permit, which would expire after 72 hours, would be required. The city staff has likened the twice-a-year permits to what is done for garage sales.

There are restrictions in the ordinance that do not allow indoor growing operations anywhere other than in light industrial areas of the city. Urban agriculture also would be banned in mobile home parks, as would livestock anywhere in the city.

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June 27, 2016   Comments Off on New Port Richey, Florida, approves urban agriculture ordinance, including residential sales

Las Cruces, New Mexico, Approves Urban Agriculture Plan

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lascuc

“Then maybe more can be done with personal gardening plots or homes designed around a community garden. I think there are all kinds of innovative ways that this can grow.”

By Samantha Sonner
Krwg
Jun 8, 2016

Excerpt:

The Urban Agriculture and Food Policy Plan recommends educational activities, policies and programs to promote equitable food and agriculture practices for the city of Las Cruces. Krysten Aguilar, Food Planning and Policy Specialist at La Semilla Food Center, says the plan was developed with community input.

“So this plan really just lays out support and incentivizes in and around the city of Las Cruces,” Aguilar said. “So really looking at things like growing food, processing food, community kitchens, community gardens, everything from seed to table basically.”

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June 15, 2016   Comments Off on Las Cruces, New Mexico, Approves Urban Agriculture Plan

Detroit is Designing a City With Space for Everyone, Including Goats

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dert
Mark Covington holds one of the chickens at the Georgia St. Collective.

A comprehensive approach to urban agriculture is rolling out in Motor City.

By Amanda Kolson Hurley
Next City
Photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard
Jun 6, 2016

Excerpt:

Even at the time, the spokesperson of Mayor Mike Duggan indicated the city was open to changing the policy, which some residents argued was outdated. Now it is poised to do that. Within the next few months, the Detroit Planning Commission will review code amendments that would allow the keeping of certain small animals for agricultural purposes — hens (not roosters), ducks, goats, rabbits and honeybees — on the property of any residence, educational institution, restaurant or agricultural facility that meets spatial guidelines. Slaughter on-site and the sale of meat would not be allowed. Farming with livestock would only be permitted as an accessory use, meaning a person couldn’t buy a property in a residential neighborhood and turn the whole lot into a farm.

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June 13, 2016   Comments Off on Detroit is Designing a City With Space for Everyone, Including Goats

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

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WheatSt.GardensTLW

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