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Thread: Urban agriculture and community gardening in urban planning

  1. #1
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    Urban agriculture and community gardening in urban planning

    Basically I'd like to see a discussion on the importance these kinds of initiatives are currently given within urban planning as well as how important and beneficial the people here think they are in relation to urban sustainability, social equity/'empowerment' and the development of a sense of community.

    I also wonder if any of you have stories about allotment gardens that were seemingly planned well, but failed in practice.

    The reason why I have become interested in this is because I'm working on an academic research project on the planning issues surrounding community gardening in Toronto's West Don Lands. There are actually several interesting issues in this particular case, including the fact that Foodshare (a government-affiliated non-profit organization involved in community gardening and the promotion of organic foods) has been forced to leave the area so a flood protection berm can be constructed.

    Another thing that I noticed in the most recent plans for the area are that many of the open spaces planned for the area that would be suitable for community gardening are only semi-public and are generally located behind/between the fairly expensive townhouses to be installed rather than being sited for the purpose of being accessible to those living in affordable housing, who would likely benefit a lot more from community gardening, especially if they are able to grow food.

  2. #2
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    I went to high school with someone that was part of a landscape architecture program in Detroit - so you might want to take a look at urban farming there.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    What comes to mind is the community garden of Cabrini Green (a housing project -- ie "affordable" housing -- I elieve in Chicago). For example: http://www.fourthchurch.org/projectl...ardeninfo.html


    EDIT: I also tripped across this: http://www.communitygarden.org/whatgood.php

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by teshadoh
    I went to high school with someone that was part of a landscape architecture program in Detroit - so you might want to take a look at urban farming there.
    Detroit has a Four H program and 4-H sponsors an urban farm tour. I've posted about this before with some links. One interesting farm on the tour was located at a school for teen mothers. Teen mothers used the animals and plants as nurturing tools as many folks here come from non-loving homes and don't know how to love or care for kids, it just wasn't taught to them. Hence the self-destructive behaviour, so they learn to nurture the animals and plants. Another person giving the tour also mentioned that flormaldhyde is a problem for expectant mothers so some are used for biology dissection classes!

    Here is some info: http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/urbanag.aspx
    Due to a lack of grocery stores, detroiters grow or buy their own veggies from old time markets.
    http://www.modeldmedia.com/features/emvisit.aspx
    Last edited by DetroitPlanner; 14 Apr 2006 at 4:24 PM.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    You should read "A Patch of Eden" by H. Patricia Hynes. It talks about efforts in Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia to develop community gardens.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    You should read William Shutkin's book The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the 21st Century. There is a chapter on urban agriculture in inner city Boston.

  7. #7
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    Community Gardens a hot topic

    Hi,

    This issue is a hot one at the college I'm at. I think there are great advancements to be made w/respect to the community gardening idea...they stressed to us that the gardens be accessible to everyone in the community, esp. to affordable housing people they are the ones actually who need it most. They also stressed you do not need that much space for them, and to do what you could with what space you do have to work w/on a site.

    Good luck.

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