Where Is Urban Agriculture Most Prevalent?

In many cities around the world, a green movement is growing, literally. Urban agriculture is a way of growing healthy foods in areas where you wouldn’t normally see farms. But what is urban agriculture and where is it being practiced? Read on to learn more.

What Is Urban Agriculture?

Urban agriculture is exactly what it sounds like: farming in the city. Of course, it looks a lot different from rural agriculture. In a city setting, land is far too valuable to be used for acres and acres of crops. So how is it grown then?

  • Community Gardens — In some areas, groups of people have banded together to improve the neighborhood with a community garden. This is typically a small endeavor, often done in a space formerly used as a building or parking lot. These gardens may produce mostly fruits and vegetables, but they may also grow flowers and other plants to beautify the neighborhood.

  • Vertical Farms — These farms are designed to grow plants stacked on top of each other rather than along the ground. Plants can be grown in tray systems or towers and can be grown indoors, using far less space than a traditional farm.

  • Backyard, Rooftop, or Patio Gardens — On a far smaller scale, some people turn whatever space they have available into a garden, producing plants in small backyard plots, in pots and containers on patios, balconies, and rooftops, or even in rooftop greenhouses. 

The only commercially viable option of these methods is usually the vertical farm, though the smaller options may be enough to feed a single family or even a small neighborhood.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the cities in the world where urban agriculture is taking root.

Urban Agriculture, Atlanta

The city of Atlanta recently adopted a policy allowing urban farms to sell directly to the public, with no middle man needed. One of the reasons for this is that Atlanta is home to several community gardens, as well as home to the Atlanta Food Forest

Atlanta’s Food Forest was originally a working farm but is now a community urban food forest planted in the middle of what was once a food desert. It’s run by AgLanta, a non-profit dedicated to bringing fresh, local food to every part of the city of Atlanta. In fact, their aim is that at least 85% of the residents of Atlanta should live within half a mile of affordable, fresh food.

Urban Agriculture, Chicago

An organization, Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), is currently turning the windy city green. This coalition includes urban farms, community gardens, school gardens, and other urban growers. For the past 20 years, they’ve been working to promote sustainable growing in the Chicago area. 

AUA currently maintains a map of Chicago’s growing spaces that includes 890 sites as of this writing. They also run farmer mentorship programs, offer funding opportunities for urban farms, and provide all sorts of grower resources to Chicago’s urban farmers.

Urban Agriculture, Cincinnati

In the city of Cincinnati, the Ken Anderson Alliance has created an urban farm that not only brings local food to the urban setting but also provides gainful employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. O2 Urban Farms is a hydroponic facility that focuses on consumer and environmental health and education, alongside their unique employment opportunities and quality produce. They then sell their products through several local grocery stores, restaurants, coffee houses, and other Cincinnati businesses. 

Urban Agriculture, London

The London Environmental Network has implemented an urban agriculture strategy to bring farming into this hub of commerce and culture. This initiative promotes all sorts of agricultural endeavors, including urban farms, farmers markets, and other urban agriculture businesses and projects. 

Urban Agriculture, Miami

In Miami, the Urban Farming Institute’s Farm Share Adventure runs an open-air hydroponic farm that produces fresh food for the local area through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) partnership. They offer all sorts of microgreens, salad greens, kale, collards, pac chai, spring onions, tomatoes, and other vegetables. 

But that’s not the only way the Urban Farming Institute is bringing farm life to Miami. They also help develop gardens for schools and community gardens and even run a growers academy to teach others to grow their own food. 

Urban Agriculture, NYC

In New York City, the city itself runs an initiative called The Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture. There’s also a program by the NYC Parks department called Green Thumb, which purports to be “the largest community gardening program in the nation.” These urban gardens are open to the public and allow New Yorkers to grow their own produce, regardless of how much space they have available. 

Currently, more than 500 garden sites are listed on the Green Thumb list across all five boroughs. Green Thumb also runs events and workshops to teach people how to garden and about the value of urban agriculture. 

Urban Agriculture, Paris

The largest urban farm in the world currently sits just off the city center in Paris, France. This aeroponic vertical farm sits inside the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center and aims to produce over 2,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables per day. Its developers have a vision to create similar, smaller farms on rooftops and abandoned surfaces all throughout the city and eventually spreading to cities around the globe.

Urban Agriculture, Singapore

The city of Singapore launched an initiative in 2019 called 30 by 30. The gist of this program is to produce 30 percent of the city’s nutritional needs locally by the year 2030. To meet this goal, the Singapore Food Agency is co-funding urban agriculture initiatives to help entrepreneurs within the city develop local food businesses. These include everything from vertical farms in city buildings to bus stop gardens. In fact, you can see a list of the current farms that are growing local food and where to purchase their products here

Bring Vertical Farming to a City Near You

If you’re anything like us, all of this buzz about urban agriculture is probably making you wish you could be a part of the movement. But where would you even start? It’s not like this sort of thing is easy to do on your own on a commercial scale. Good news - you don’t have to go it alone.

Eden Green Technology offers a turnkey hydroponic greenhouse solution that we will help you design, build, staff, and run. Our greenhouses sit on as little as an acre and a half and can grow 11-13 harvests per year in that space. If this sounds like an amazing opportunity to you, reach out and contact us today to discuss how we can help you bring vertical farming to your city.


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