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Category — Policy

City of Toronto Celebrates Its First Official ‘Urban Agriculture Day’

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“Wheres urban agriculture helps to achieve City of Toronto priorities such as promoting strong neighbourhoods, mitigating climate change and increasing access to healthy, local produce.

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September 17, 2017   No Comments

Erie City Council signed off on new zoning rules expand possibilities for urban agriculture within city limits

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Carrie Sachse.

“We have had significant interest, I would say 10 to 15 people … inquiring about purchasing lots from us.”

By Kevin Flowers
GO Erie
Sept 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Carrie Sachse is investing big-time in her favorite hobby — and trying to help the city of Erie grow in the process.

The 34-year-old Erie County Court employee and part-time Gannon University student recently signed a sales agreement with the Erie Redevelopment Authority for four vacant lots as part of a plan to launch her own produce-growing business on the parcels, now that Erie City Council has signed off on new zoning rules that expand possibilities for urban agriculture within city limits.

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September 17, 2017   No Comments

Food Justice in the Trump Age: Priorities for Urban Food Advocates

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The article identifies critical threats to food security, nutrition, food safety, labor, and environmental health policies and recommend strategies of resistance for urban food advocates.

By Nevin Cohen, Nick Freudenberg and Jan Poppendieck
Special Issue of the Journal of Food Law & Policy on “Food Policy in the Trump Era.”
2017

Excerpt:

2. Mobilizing state and local elected officials to stand up to President Trump and Congress by fighting for policies that protect urban food systems. Food activists should communicate what we expect from elected officials and consider how to support them when they resist harmful changes. State Attorneys General can open new legal routes for reducing harmful food industry practices.

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September 15, 2017   No Comments

Venezuela’s ‘Plan Rabbit’ encounters ‘cultural problem’

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President Maduro said Plan Rabbit had encountered early setbacks.

The leader did say that the “rabbit plan” had not got off to a good start and the minister of urban agriculture, Freddy Bernal, said there had been a “cultural problem”.

BBC
Spet 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“When he came back, to his surprise he found people had put little bows on their rabbits and were keeping them as pets, it was an early setback to Plan Rabbit.”

“A lot of people gave names to the rabbits, they took them to bed,” Mr Bernal said.

The minister urged Venezuelans to start seeing rabbits “from the point of view of the economic war”.

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September 14, 2017   No Comments

Canada: How Vancouver property developers cash in on community gardens

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Tax consultant Paul Sullivan is pushing to lower tax rates on empty land slated for residential development. Credit: Taehoon Kim.

Converting empty lots into garden plots makes the city greener—and also delivers a generous tax break

By Kerry Gold
BC Business
Sept 12, 2017

Excerpt:

A big incentive for developers and landowners to convert empty commercial space into a community garden is the substantial tax break. “Properties just aren’t ready for development, and developers are seeing this as a way to lower cost,” says tax consultant Paul Sullivan, a principal at Vancouver-based commercial real estate appraisal firm Burgess Cawley Sullivan & Associates Ltd.

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September 14, 2017   No Comments

Japan to keep urban farmland green with new incentives

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New tax and leasing incentives will help keep “productive greenspace” under cultivation.

Flexible leasing system will help connect businesses, nonprofits with available land

Nikkei Asian Review
Sept 6, 2017

Excerpt:

TOKYO — Japan is planning tax incentives and changes to the way land is leased to keep urban farmland from being turned into housing as a current program nears expiration and more farmers retire without apparent successors.

Starting in 1992, Japan designated roughly 13,000 hectares of urban land nationwide, and around 3,200 hectares in Tokyo, as “productive green space,” offering 30 years of tax incentives to those who would use the land for agricultural purposes. In 2022, those incentives will expire for roughly 80% of the land in the program.

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September 13, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Victoriaville has set itself a new goal for 2017: to install 100 shared garden boxes throughout town.

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Sophie Legault says front yards often get more sun than backyards where there are more trees. (Julia Page/CBC)

“If have a few plants and a few fruit trees instead of just pretty trees we can become more self-sufficient.”

By Julia Page
CBC News
Sep 04, 2017

Excerpt:

It was awarded a $15,000 grant from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th in order to realize that initiative.

The wooden boxes, equipped with signs letting people know the produce is for the taking, are set up on people’s front lawns, at restaurants, and in other public spaces.

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September 11, 2017   No Comments

US Representative Marcy Kaptur Introduces Bipartisan Urban Agriculture Production Act

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Kaptur helped kick off a capital campaign for the next phase of the successful Oneida Street greenhouse project in 2011. Young people learned urban agriculture techniques, aquaculture, apiary science, gardening, and life skills.

Bill bolsters USDA nutritional and farmers’ market programs and works to spur economic development

Press Release
September 8, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), today introduced the Urban Agriculture Production Act (H.R. 3699), a bipartisan bill to bolster nutritional and farmers’ market programs and help create the next generation of local, urban farmers and food producers. The bill is supported by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Farmers Market Coalition.

“Too many urban neighborhoods are in food deserts that lack stores where people can purchase fresh, healthy foods, so the federal government needs to step up and improve access to nutritious foods,” said Kaptur. “Nutritious and healthy eating can reduce the rate of diabetes, hypertension and obesity related illnesses and my bill builds on successful nutritional programs, like the Seniors Farmers’ Market. As Congress readies to debate the Farm Bill, I’ll fight for programs that bolster farmers, develop our urban centers and help create jobs.”

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September 10, 2017   No Comments

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

Philippines: DIY farming for urbanites in Cebu City

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CEBU City is not an ideal place for agriculture. Agricultural lands are limited to the mountain barangays, a lot of which have steep slopes that are hard to farm on. Then there are the other challenges: the financial aspect, lack of water and the failure to innovate.

By Jujemay G. Awit
SunStar Philippines
Aug 30, 2017

Excerpt:

Aside from the newspaper technology, the nursery shows how urban farming can be undertaken using the vertical gardening method, where one could stack two or more five-gallon water bottles with the top capped off. Soil is placed inside the large water bottle, which one will then slash to make a flap where one could plant the seed or seedling.

There is also the hanging garden. Urban residents could hang their potted plants to conserve space. They could also use old rubber tires as a small garden plot, just enough for their daily vegetable consumption.

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September 4, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines: DIY farming for urbanites in Cebu City

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

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

Growing in Glasgow: Innovative practices and emerging policy pathways for urban agriculture

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3 Hills Community Garden.

In this paper, we present an exploratory case study of UA practice on the Southside of Glasgow, UK that traced the emergence and development of four UA projects.

By James T. White and Christopher Bunn,
Land Use Policy
Vol 68, Nov 2017

Highlights

Paper explores four projects in Glasgow, Scotland that reveal a diversity of UA practices.

Negotiating access to land and securing long-term funding are common challenges for local UA practitioners.

UA practitioners in Glasgow seek to re-purpose vacant and derelict land, build social cohesion and contribute to environmental and food sustainability.

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August 27, 2017   Comments Off on Growing in Glasgow: Innovative practices and emerging policy pathways for urban agriculture

India: Hyderabad Government campaign intends to encourage the citizens in twin cities to adopt Urban Farming

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“The potential capacity to produce more than 50 lakh kg vegetables and fruits by the households in twin cities and in the suburban areas should be garnered by adopting urban farming,” he averred

By VRC Phaniharan
The Hans India
Aug 19,2017

Excerpt:

The Telangana Horticulture Department is all set to launch a unique campaign to increase the green cover as well as provide organic vegetables daily to the city residents.

Dubbed as ‘Own and Produce Your Oxygen’, the mass awareness campaign intends to encourage the citizens in twin cities to adopt Urban Farming.

Explaining the twin benefits from the programme, Horticulture Department Commissioner L Venkatrami Reddy said the city has been witnessing increase in pollution affecting the health of people.

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August 25, 2017   Comments Off on India: Hyderabad Government campaign intends to encourage the citizens in twin cities to adopt Urban Farming

House, Senate Legislators Lay Groundwork for Urban Agriculture

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Vegetable garden, 1890, by León Giran-Max, Cau Ferrat Museum.

“The number of farmers raising crops in our city is gradually and steadily increasing.”

By Teaganne Finn
Bloomberg BNA
Aug 23, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Urban agriculture proponents are hoping two 2016 bills will be reintroduced this year, just in time to be added to the 2018 Farm Bill.

The bills have very different initiatives but similar goals, with hopes to create economic opportunity and show support for farmers and ranchers in urban areas. The separate bills were introduced in 2016 by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).

Stabenow introduced the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 in September of last year outlining a plan to establish an Office of Urban Agriculture within the Department of Agriculture and make urban agriculture activities eligible for funding from USDA programs. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

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August 24, 2017   Comments Off on House, Senate Legislators Lay Groundwork for Urban Agriculture