What is urban agriculture?
by cultivating plants and raising animals
in and around cities
Where does it happen?
Urban agriculture takes many shapes and can be found in almost every corner of the city:
Parks and public spaces
Churches, mosques, synagogues and temples
Apartment towers – public housing, condos, market rental
Rooftops and balconies
Restaurants and other businesses
Hospitals and health centres
Indoors – greenhouses, walls and windowsills and, in the case of mushrooms, kilns!
Working in small spaces including balconies and containers
Aquaponics (systems integrating fish and plants)
Animal husbandry including beekeeping, small livestock, worm composting, other insects
Food processing and value-added production
How are they organized?
Community gardens where people make some commitment to work on the gardens together, either through shared or common areas, or by sharing organizing tasks
Allotment gardens run by the city offer plots on a rental basis to individuals, families and groups
Urban farms are mainly focused on production for sale, but they may serve other purposes
School and children’s gardens teach children about where their food comes from
Training and internship gardens and farms prepare the next generation of farmers
Therapeutic gardens and garden programs help foster physical and mental well-being
Other businesses such as sales of value-added products and consulting
Some people exclude community gardening, back yard gardening, children’s gardens and therapeutic gardens from urban agriculture. The argument is that they are not focused on production and don’t involve sales.
TUG takes a broader definition and includes all of these initiatives for the following reasons:
Many urban agriculture projects blur traditional distinctions between production and programming, or for-profit and community benefit. Some of the most innovative projects are hybrids.
Urban ag projects have many commonalities – the challenge of finding space to grow, project sustainability and untangling regulations.
By working together we can learn from each other and have a stronger voice calling for a food-friendly city.