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Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

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perdyEntomologist Christian Krupke at the Purdue Bee Laboratory with pollen collected by Indiana honeybees. (Purdue Agriculture photo/Tom Campbell)

Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

By Keith Robinson
Purdue University
May 31, 2016

Excerpts:

“Although crop pollen was only a minor part of what they collected, bees in our study were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected,” said Krupke. “The sheer numbers of pesticides we found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields.”

Long, now an assistant professor of entomology at The Ohio State University, said she was also “surprised and concerned” by the diversity of pesticides found in pollen.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Honeybees pick up host of agricultural, urban pesticides via non-crop plants

Report: Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

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mesaThe La Mesa Verde program in San Jose helps low-income families to establish their own vegetable gardens. A pilot study found that gardening in either a community or backyard space made a significant contribution to gardeners’ daily vegetable intake.

“Gardening made a substantial contribution to vegetable intake regardless of socioeconomic background or previous gardening experience,” said co-author Lucy Diekmann, a postdoctoral researcher in the Food and Agribusiness Institute at Santa Clara University.

By Susan Algert, UC ANR Cooperative Extension
Lucy Diekmann, Santa Clara University
Leslie Gray, Santa Clara University
Marian Renvall, UC San Diego Department of Medicine
California Agriculture 70(2):77-82. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v070n02p77.
April-June 2016.
(Must read. Mike.)

Abstract:

As of 2013, 42 million American households were involved in growing their own food either at home or in a community garden plot. The purpose of this pilot study was to document the extent to which gardeners, particularly less affluent ones, increase their vegetable intake when eating from either home or community garden spaces. Eighty-five community gardeners and 50 home gardeners from San Jose, California, completed a survey providing information on demographic background, self-rated health, vegetable intake and the benefits of gardening.

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June 4, 2016   Comments Off on Report: Community and home gardens increase vegetable intake and food security of residents in San Jose, California

Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

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sudan

Dr Alice Franck’s Presentation On Urban Agriculture At The Sudanese Institute Of Architects (SIA)’S 4Th Scientific And Professional Conference

On 23rd May, 2016, Dr Alice Franck, Geographer and Coordinator of CEDEJ Khartoum, presented her paper at the Sudanese Institute of Architects (SIA)’s 4th Scientific and Professional conference.

Excerpt from Abstract:

My initial research into this location of intense speculation examined the future of the central areas that remained under agricultural activity and how they were gradually being transformed into urban areas (Franck 2007). The approach adopted analysed the resistance of agriculture and farmers to the spread of real estate and the pressure of competition over land ownership. Five years later, the action in favour of urban plan renewal has been drastically intensified and the capacity for resistance severely diminished; three of the five market gardening areas (Tuti, Shambat, Abu Se’id, Abu Rof and Mogran) observed during fieldwork in 2001–5 are subject to huge real estate projects (Mogran, Abu Se’id and Tuti). In this chapter, I focus my analysis on how landowners and the entire agricultural sector can both adapt to and confront the transformation.

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May 26, 2016   Comments Off on Sudan: Urban Agriculture Facing Land Pressure in Greater Khartoum – The Case of New Real Estate Projects in Tuti and Abu Se ‘id

A local lady and scholar, Dr Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha, made history when she became the first black woman to get a PhD in Urban Planning at the University of Kwazulu Natal.

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phdladyDr Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha..

Her Masters Thesis: The responsiveness of town planning to urban agriculture in low-income neighbourhoods : a case study of Kwa-Mashu in Durban, South Africa.

Excerpt about her academic journey:

A resident of the rural Ngudza village, Magidimisha stated that her motivation to study and work hard came from her uneducated parents. “I am from a humble beginning with supportive parents and a supportive community,” she said. “When I was in Grade 12 at Ramugondo Secondary, our school achieved a 100% pass rate for the first time in history. We were a highly motivated class. This was also the motivation for me; it just proved to me that the sky is the limit.”

She indicated that hard work had always had a way of paying off. “If I work hard, anything is possible,” she beamed. “I like doing what people think is impossible. I guess this is something I got from my father.”

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May 6, 2016   Comments Off on A local lady and scholar, Dr Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha, made history when she became the first black woman to get a PhD in Urban Planning at the University of Kwazulu Natal.

A meta-analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry in mediating climate change

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Africa is undergoing an unprecedented urban transition both in pace and scale.

By Shuaib Lwasa, Frank Mugagga1, Bolanle Wahab,
David Simon, John P Connors and Corrie Griffith
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
2015, 13:68–73

Abstract:

This paper systematically reviews literature on urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry (UPAF) in mediating climate change. The study includes both peer-reviewed and grey literature (274 literature sources), and synthesizes evidence and agreement on both UPAF’s potential and limitations for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Eight East and West African cities were included in the review: Accra, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Kampala, Ibadan and Nairobi. The review focuses on urban livelihoods, ecosystem services and urban policy responses as pathways to mediating climate change.

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May 3, 2016   Comments Off on A meta-analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry in mediating climate change

Toward Sustainability: Novelties, Areas of Learning and Innovation in Urban Agriculture

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jumplGraphic from: If You Plant a Seed by Nadir Nelson.

The described novelties include approaches to enhance the positive impacts of practicing agriculture within urban areas, and some of them have the potential to contribute to societal change and open up opportunities for social learning processes.

By Ina Opitz, Kathrin Specht, Regine Berges, Rosemarie Siebert and Annette Piorr
Sustainability
Vol 8 Iss 4
Apr 1, 2016

Abstract:

Given the search for new solutions to better prepare cities for the future, in recent years, urban agriculture (UA) has gained in relevance. Within the context of UA, innovative organizational and technical approaches are generated and tested. They can be understood as novelties that begin a potential innovation process. This empirical study is based on 17 qualitative interviews in the U.S. (NYC; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago, IL, USA). The aim was to identify: (i) the most relevant areas of learning and innovation; (ii) the drivers of innovation; (iii) the applied novelties and their specific approach to overcoming the perceived obstacles;

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April 15, 2016   Comments Off on Toward Sustainability: Novelties, Areas of Learning and Innovation in Urban Agriculture

Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes

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fedlocally

A project by UC Merced Professor Elliott Campbell mapped the potential of every American city to obtain food locally. Research shows unexpectedly large current potential for productive farmland.

By Lorena Anderson
UC Merced News
June 1, 2015

Excerpt:

Campbell and his students looked at the farms within a local radius of every American city, then estimated how many calories those farms could produce. By comparing the potential calorie production to the population of each city, the researchers found the percentage of the population that could be supported entirely by food grown locally.

The researchers found surprising potential in major coastal cities. For example, New York City could feed only 5 percent of its population within 50 miles but as much as 30 percent within 100 miles. The greater Los Angeles area could feed as much as 50 percent within 100 miles.

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March 10, 2016   Comments Off on Farmland mapping project indicates more than 90 percent of U.S. could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes

New York University Study Defines Social Motivations of Urban Farms

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oldparis
Vegetable Gardens, Grenelle (Des jardins maraîchers de Grenelle) Henri Rivière (1864 – 1951). Click on image for larger file.

The study, published in the British Food Journal, shows that three of the four top reasons farmers grow in urban areas – food security, education, community building, and producing food for the market – have social motivations.

New York University
29-Feb-2016

Excerpt:

They analyzed data collected from a national survey of 370 urban farmers. Thirty-five questions, covering the 2012 farm year, addressed food production and marketing practices, risks and challenges, information and technical assistance needs, farm size and location, age of primary farmer, and farm characteristics.

The researchers found that food production is an essential part of the mission for all urban farms, but approximately two thirds of farmers surveyed also expressed a social mission. These social missions are primarily related to food security, education, and community building.

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March 1, 2016   Comments Off on New York University Study Defines Social Motivations of Urban Farms

Urban Agroecology Program at the University of California, Berkeley

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Professor Miguel A Altieri from the University of California, Berkeley. This video shares some of the results from a large scale agroecological experiment established and managed by undergraduate students enrolled in a class on urban agriculture during the fall of 2015.

With the right incentives, urban farmers can produce at least 25% of the vegetables and small animal derived protein needed by urban dwellers.

Excerpt from their website:

Our Urban Agroecology Program at the University of California, Berkeley is implementing a training, research and outreach program which has several activities:

a. short courses to train a critical mass of people on how to use agroecological concepts to design productive urban farms and gardens.

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February 16, 2016   Comments Off on Urban Agroecology Program at the University of California, Berkeley

Potential for urban agriculture on former farmland at Bredtvet and Gaustad, Oslo, Norway

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norw

A study of soil resources, current land use, and users’ and stakeholders’ desires and perceived challenges

By Cristina Gil Ruiz,
NIBIO Report
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
Jan 2, 2016

SUMMARY:

Oslo has experienced an increase in the number of urban agriculture (UA) projects and growth in public interest. The study investigated how user groups could carry out UA projects in two apparently unoccupied plots of former farmland: Bredtvet and Gaustad. Soil characteristics, current land use, users’ desires, and the challenges they perceived for the development of UA projects were studied. It seems possible to integrate UA projects in both areas without disturbing current land uses, thereby leading to
the recuperation of the soil resources of the former farmland. UA can have multiple purposes, such as food growing, social integration, community building, and health improvement. Major challenges hindering UA projects result from lack of institutional support and funding.

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February 5, 2016   Comments Off on Potential for urban agriculture on former farmland at Bredtvet and Gaustad, Oslo, Norway

Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

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kidscr
Kids get creative with kale in an urban garden in Tacoma, Washington.Kristen McIvor

“It is highly unlikely that urban agriculture will increase incidences of elevated blood Pb for children in urban areas. This is due to the high likelihood that agriculture will improve soils in urban areas, resulting in reduced bioavailability of soil Pb and reduced fugitive dust.”

By Michelle Ma
University of Washington
Feb 2, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Using compost is the single best thing you can do to protect your family from any danger associated with lead in urban soils. Good compost will also guarantee that you will have plenty of vegetables to harvest.

That’s the main finding of a paper appearing this month in the Journal of Environmental Quality. The University of Washington-led study looked at potential risks associated with growing vegetables in urban gardens and determined that the benefits of locally produced vegetables in cities outweigh any risks from gardening in contaminated soils.

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February 3, 2016   Comments Off on Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

Urban Farms: Emerging Trends in Real Estate in Canada and the United States 2016

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emrge

What is the “trend” here? Are we likely to see barns and silos dotting our cityscapes? No, that is hardly the point. What is important—and trending—is the new vision that has urban land as that most precious and flexible of resources. The idea that the end of one productive use of a real estate asset spells the extinction of value and the sunsetting of opportunity is an idea whose time is over.

Author: Hugh F. Kelly
Senior Advisers:
Christopher J. Potter, PwC, Canada, Miriam Gurza, PwC, Canada, Frank Magliocco, PwC, Canada
Study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Urban Land Insitute (ULI)
2015
(Must See. Mike!)

Excerpt:

7. Food Is Getting Bigger and Closer

This may be the ultimate in niche property types: adaptive use with a vengeance (or at least with veggies).

The classic theory of urban places relegates agriculture to the hinterlands, as virtually every kind of vertical construction has superior “highest-and-best-use” characteristics, bringing greater investment returns to land value than growing food. This is absolutely true in most cases. But there are places in more cities than we might imagine where neighborhood land is cheap or older buildings sit idle, and where median incomes are low and the need for fresh food is high. Some are the “hollowed out” areas of Detroit as well as Camden and Newark, New Jersey. But there is a surprisingly significant level of activity in places like Brooklyn, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., where “foodies” of all generations abound.

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November 23, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farms: Emerging Trends in Real Estate in Canada and the United States 2016

Food securitization and urban agriculture in Hanoi (Vietnam)

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viet5
Urban agriculture in the river bank in Phuc Tan. Photo by Gwenn Pulliat.

The sample of 100 interviewees mostly targeted underprivileged urban dwellers, since common difficulties rarely result in food insecurity for wealthier households.

By Gwenn Pulliat
Article – Journal of Urban Research
Issue 7 2015 Tales of the City
Gwenn Pulliat, Ph.D., is a geographer at the LAVUE Laboratory and a research and teaching assistant at Aix-Marseille University in France. Her current research focuses on food security issues in developing cities in Southeast Asia.

Abstract

Based on a qualitative study of Hanoi underprivileged households’ livelihoods, this article addresses the role of urban and periurban agriculture in the food securitization process. It begins by showing that the spatial dynamics occurring in the emerging metropolis induce strong competition for the various uses of land. The urbanization process is based on a tremendous land-seizure policy, and officials seem to regard farmland as a land reserve instead of as a source of food.

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November 23, 2015   Comments Off on Food securitization and urban agriculture in Hanoi (Vietnam)

Perception and acceptance of agricultural production in and on urban buildings (ZFarming): a qualitative study from Berlin, Germany

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garden

Major perceived benefits of ZFarming include improved consumer awareness, education, and the creation of experimental spaces.

By Kathrin Specht , Rosemarie Siebert, Susanne Thomaier
Agriculture and Human Values
pp 1-17
First online: 23 October 2015

Abstract

Rooftop gardens, rooftop greenhouses and indoor farms (defined as ZFarming) have been established or planned by activists and private companies in Berlin. These projects promise to produce a range of goods that could have positive impacts on the urban setting but also carry a number of risks and uncertainties. In this early innovation phase, the relevant stakeholders’ perceptions and social acceptance of ZFarming represent important preconditions for success or failure of the further diffusion of this practice.

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November 6, 2015   Comments Off on Perception and acceptance of agricultural production in and on urban buildings (ZFarming): a qualitative study from Berlin, Germany

Session proposed on Urban Agriculture at the 2016 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting

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cityperi

A call for papers. Members of the UrbanFoodPlus interdisciplinary research project are proposing a session on Urban Agriculture at the 2016 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, to be held in San Francisco, California, March 29 – April 2, 2016.

Urban Agriculture: Interdisciplinary perspectives

Urban agriculture has received enormous attention from scholars over the past forty years. The particularly dense configuration of multiple resource access routes, legal technicalities and input and output market opportunities found in the city means that urban and periurban agriculture (UPA) is worthy of attention from multiple disciplines. There has been examination of its technical complexities (Amadou et al. 2012; Drechsel and Keraita 2014) alongside its social and political context (Cissé et al. 2005; McClintock 2010).

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September 8, 2015   Comments Off on Session proposed on Urban Agriculture at the 2016 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting