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Category — Policy

Vancouver BC: Tax breaks for developers who put in community gardens

Temporary Vancouver community garden is set up where a gas station used to be.

… small businesses, struggling to stay alive, get pounded to the point of facing failure, while major developers get significant tax reductions for doing nothing except allowing folks to grow a few carrots or potatoes on their patch of land?

By Allen Garr
Vancouver Courier
Jan 9, 2018

Excerpt:

Wesgroup is a development company owned by a guy named Peeter Wesik. Last year Wesgroup purchased five gas stations, including one in my neighborhood at West Fourth and Macdonald. By October the buildings were demolished and removed, the ground surface was covered with gravel and the property was surrounded with a chain link fence.

Thanks to a deal Wesgroup made with a not-for-profit outfit called Shifting Growth Society, wooden planter boxes filled with soil were placed on the property. In my particular ’hood there were 100 boxes mostly three feet by four feet in size.

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January 11, 2018   No Comments

The Politics of NYC’s Urban Farming: The City Notices Urban Agriculture

Photo: La Finca del Sur, South Bronx.

On December 11th, 2017, the New York City Council unanimously passed the city’s first-ever urban agriculture policy bill (Int. No. 1661-A: A Local Law in relation to requiring the department of city planning, department of small business services, and the department of parks and recreation to develop urban agriculture website).

By Rob Stephenson
for Design Trust for Public Space
Jan 3, 2018

Excerpt:

Regardless of whether food is grown in an indoor aquaponics system or by community gardeners, it remains uncertain whether urban agriculture can contribute enough food to make a difference. A 2016 report from the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University concluded that while growing food in cities has benefits, and urban farming plays a role in community health and development, it is insufficient as a unique tool to address food insecurity and dietary quality. Even if all the available land in New York City were to be transformed into urban farms, the total output would provide produce to between 103,000 and 160,000 of the cities 8.4 million residents—just shy of two percent of the population.

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January 8, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Vancouver sees increase in farms despite downturn in region

Karen Ageson is the CSA farmer for Farmers on 57th and a board member of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society. She is pictured in Vancouver, BC Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Jason Payne / Png

Ageson is the market garden manager and community-supported agriculture (CSA) farmer at Farmers on 57th, a one-acre urban farm near Cambie Street and 57th Avenue in downtown Vancouver where she has worked since 2009.

By Jennifer Saltman
Vancouver Sun
Jan 7, 2018

Excerpt:

Her farm is one of those helping the city — an urban area with a relatively small amount of designated, protected agricultural land — buck the trend of declining farms and dwindling farmland that has taken hold across the region and the country.

The 2016 Census of Agriculture found that the total farm area in Metro Vancouver in 2016 was 38,380 hectares, the lowest number in 20 years. There has also been a steady decline in the number of farms at the regional and municipal levels. Region-wide, there were 2,412 farms, a 14-per-cent drop from five years ago.

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January 8, 2018   No Comments

Nairobi Establishes a Framework from Which Urban Agriculture Can Flourish

According to the Kenyan news outlet Mediamax, the government is developing urban farming projects in all 17 of Nairobi’s sub-counties.

By Cameron St. Germain
New York City Food Policy Centre
Jan 2018

Excerpt:

The objectives of the Act are to:

Contribute to food security through the development of agriculture in the county by empowering the people and institutions through allowing and facilitating agricultural activities for subsistence and commercial purposes.

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January 7, 2018   No Comments

Singapore: The National Parks Board leasing out garden space in its parks to community gardeners

A garden display at NParks’ Community Garden Festival. NParks is leasing out garden space in its parks to community gardeners.

It aims to build 1,000 of these “allotment gardens” in 10 parks by 2019. Each 2.5 sq m plot costs $57 a year for up to three years.

Samantha Boh
StraitsTimes
Dec 27, 2017

Excerpt:

Singapore prides itself on being a garden city and these days, Singaporeans are getting more opportunities to help it keep its reputation.

The move sprung up in response to a growing interest in gardening here.

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January 2, 2018   Comments Off on Singapore: The National Parks Board leasing out garden space in its parks to community gardeners

How This New York City Community Garden Became the Center of Controversy

The half-acre Elizabeth Street Garden serves as a public green space in one of the city’s most severely underserved neighborhoods in terms of open space. Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Street Garden

The Elizabeth Street Garden in NoLIta is slated for destruction in a new city plan for affordable housing—and neighbors are fighting back

By Elizabeth Fazzare
Architectural Digest
December 12, 2017

Excerpt:

“This is a false choice; affordable housing cannot come at the expense of green public space,” said New York City comptroller Scott Stringer at a rally in front of City Hall yesterday. Supported by public advocate Letitia James, senator Brian Kavanagh, assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, and Terri Cude, chair of the neighborhood’s community board two, a group of approximately 100 protesters gathered on the steps in response to a recent contract awarded by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, one that plans to redevelop a 20,110-square-foot garden in the NoLIta neighborhood into affordable housing apartments for senior citizens.

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December 21, 2017   Comments Off on How This New York City Community Garden Became the Center of Controversy

North Carolina: Vegetables to sprout on greenways, fruit in parks as part of Asheville food plan

Carolina Arias, Bountiful Cities Asheville Buncombe County Community Garden Network Coordinator, holds up a sign celebrating urban farming. Photo: Courtesy of Carolina Arias.

“You will see more food growing on our greenways, at our community centers, in our parks and hopefully with our partners in other public spaces as well,” said Smith.

By Joel Burgess
Citizen Times
Dec 11, 2017

Excerpt:

ASHEVILLE – The city has endorsed a plan to fight malnutrition by turning pieces of parks, greenways and other public lands into urban farms.

That’s according to a new “Food Policy Action Plan” backed by farmers, anti-hunger activists and most recently the City Council.

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December 19, 2017   Comments Off on North Carolina: Vegetables to sprout on greenways, fruit in parks as part of Asheville food plan

NYC passes new urban agriculture bill

The bill will create a new digital hub will help organize urban farmers throughout the city

By Pat King
Metro
December 11, 2017

Excerpt:

The New York City council passed a bill today that will create the city’s first centralized digital hub meant specifically for urban agriculture. This hub will be run entirely by the city and will hopefully be seen as a resource for both new and established businesses.

This bill, entitled 1661-A, is sponsored by council member Rafael Espinal, at the request of Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President, and passed overwhelmingly with a 47-0 vote in the City Council. According to Espinal, this bill will bring a new excitement to New Yorkers who are looking to go green and healthy with the expansion of the urban agriculture sector.

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December 12, 2017   Comments Off on NYC passes new urban agriculture bill

Australia: A Bountiful Harvest – Community Gardens and Neighbourhood Renewal in Waterloo

This research importantly affirms that community gardens can make a positive contribution to community development in public housing estates.

By Linda Bartolomei, Linda Corkery, Bruce Judd, Susan Thompson
NSW Department of Housing
The University of New South Wales
Faculty of the Built Environment School of Social Work, 2003

Excerpt:

The Gardens provide many positive opportunities for cross-cultural interactions. Indeed, the Gardens are a multicultural place where participants develop better understandings of cultural difference through the sharing of recipes and plants. There were many stories of how participating in the Gardens has helped to diminish cultural boundaries and negative racial stereotypes. The Gardens also provide an important cultural continuation of the home that has been left behind. This assists with developing feelings of belonging and worth for many gardeners born outside Australia.

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December 12, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: A Bountiful Harvest – Community Gardens and Neighbourhood Renewal in Waterloo

Philippines: Taguig, Manila launches newest urban farm on its Charter Day celebration

Taguig Integrated Urban Farm. And watch evening, opening celebrations here.

The city’s agriculture office chief assured their urban gardening program favors organic farming where pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, and growth hormones are not used on crops.

By Martin Sadongdong
Manila Bulletin
December 9, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

City Agriculture Office officer-in-charge Emelita Solis said the urban farm integrated various kinds of urban farming setups like gardens showcasing vertical farming to wooden rack and pole gardens.

She said the creation of the integrated farm served as one way to engage residents in urban farming practices for food production.

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December 10, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines: Taguig, Manila launches newest urban farm on its Charter Day celebration

Petition: We need an urban agriculture plan, not a website, to grow more food and jobs in NYC!

Little boy with sack of vegetables from the community garden at the Casa Grande Valley Farms, Pinal County, Arizona. Lee, Russell, 1903-1986, photographer, Created / Published 1940 Apr.

The revised Intro #1661-A is a completely different bill that we cannot support.

By Susan Chin
Design Trust for Public Space
Dec 8, 2017

A comprehensive urban agriculture plan is necessary for establishing an efficient citywide land use scheme for growing food. We need streamlined and effective regulation to expand and strengthen the City’s 900+ farms and gardens – the largest number of any U.S. city – but also better coordination integrating urban agriculture into existing plans, programs, and policy-making processes in city government, and for creating more transparent and participatory processes to enable gardeners and farmers to influence decision-making on urban agriculture. Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Denver have plans that have encouraged innovative land and space use, spurred job creation, refined food policy, and supported mission-based gardeners to expand their efforts – why not New York?

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December 9, 2017   Comments Off on Petition: We need an urban agriculture plan, not a website, to grow more food and jobs in NYC!

Special Issue: ‘Food growing in the city’ – Landscape and Urban Planning

Click image to see larger file. Demonstration garden, Bryant Park, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. Visitors studying gardening notices. Photo shows Bryant Park with New York Public Library; two boys, one on roller skates, and a man reading the notices. Garden is a project by the National War Garden Commission, 1918. Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer.

Taken together, the papers suggest that urban agriculture models need to be recognised more widely within mainstream urban planning and the urban development process.

Landscape and Urban Planning
Volume 170, February 2018, Pages 1-5
(Must see. Mike)

Food growing in the city: Exploring the productive urban landscape as a new paradigm for inclusive approaches to the design and planning of future urban open spaces

By Richard Coles, Sandra Costa

Abstract:

This special issue considers food growing in the city. It presents a series of papers which explore the interface between urban growing initiatives and the planned city, and identifies the development of the movement in different world regions and situations. It explores the characteristics of different food growing and urban gardening scenarios regarding the inherent properties of the urban agriculture/food growing complex as an urban movement, its drivers and the niche that it occupies within the city.

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December 8, 2017   Comments Off on Special Issue: ‘Food growing in the city’ – Landscape and Urban Planning

Long Beach, California: Landowners spurn tax breaks to convert vacant lots to urban farms

Community gardens and small urban farms like this could become more common under an incentive offered by local governments. Here, Makadu Labeet is in Vermont Square Community Garden, for which he’s the “unofficial caretaker.” Labeet says the garden is a “sacred ground” for him. JOSÉ MARTINEZ/KPCC

The city has also worked out rules regarding livestock like goats, chickens and bees, setting per-parcel limits that would apply to any newly created urban farms, he said.

By Sharon McNary
SCPR
November 28, 2017

Excerpt:

Starting this month, Long Beach landowners who don’t convert their vacant parcels to small urban farms or community gardens will be billed a monthly fee to pay for city code enforcement officers to monitor the lots so they don’t turn into illegal dumping grounds or havens for crime.

The city will be charging owners a $53 dollar monthly fee to cover oversight of some 618 vacant lots, said Larry Rich, manager of Long Beach’s office of sustainability says.

“People will end up having to pay an additional fee to the city to have a vacant lot,” Rich said. They can avoid that fee if they do urban agriculture there instead.”

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December 6, 2017   Comments Off on Long Beach, California: Landowners spurn tax breaks to convert vacant lots to urban farms

Long Beach, California: New Urban Agriculture Program to Turn Vacant Lots into Community Gardens, Commercial Farms

Vacant lot owners in Long Beach can now apply for the city’s new Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ) program, which reduces the property tax on lots committed to urban agriculture for five years.

By Asia Morris
Long Beach Post
November 27 2017

Excerpt:

“I encourage all vacant lot owners to take advantage of this rare opportunity,” Vice Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement. “This UAIZ program creates a win-win situation, fostering economic growth in Long Beach while paving the way for more locally grown produce.”

“This initiative supports sustainability within our community by helping to increase access to healthy foods for residents and reducing emissions from food transportation,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

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December 4, 2017   Comments Off on Long Beach, California: New Urban Agriculture Program to Turn Vacant Lots into Community Gardens, Commercial Farms

Canada: Agriculture and Food Security Plan from Saanich, BC

Click image to see larger file.

Theme 7: Expand Opportunities for Urban Agriculture

DRAFT Agriculture and Food Security Plan
Prepared by the District of Saanich Planning Department & Upland Agriculture Consulting
November, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

The purpose of the Agriculture and Food Security Plan (AFSP) is to provide the District with a coordinated approach for supporting agriculture and improving food security in Saanich over the next 10 to 15 years. It provides a roadmap for achieving Sustainable Saanich’s Official Community Plan (OCP) priorities and outlines a comprehensive approach to enhance the viability and long term sustainability of Saanich agriculture and food security.

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November 28, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Agriculture and Food Security Plan from Saanich, BC