We were really excited this week to see the Design Trust for Public Space's release of a one of a kind study, entitled Five Borough Farm: Seeding the future of urban agriculture in New York about the future of farms in NYC. The report details the many existing urb-ag initiatives in New York's 5 boroughs, presents interviews with urban agriculture stakeholders, and suggests possibilities for future urban agriculture policy and an even greener NYC. Hit the jump to learn more and view the project's beautiful photography of urban farms around the city by Rob Stephenson.
The new study was conducted by a team of project fellows including experts in policy, public health and sustainable design. Aside from thoroughly documenting the many projects that have made NYC the national leader in urban ag (surpassing both San Francisco and Seattle), the team explored the educational and leadership roles that these green spaces hold for local citizens. They have also created an online tool that will be beta tested and aggregate data across many farms and gardens citywide to inform future urban agriculture policy. This tool will be made available for public use next year.
Though New Yorkers are proud of the grassroots-led farm and garden initiatives that have allowed urban agriculture in their city to bloom, many question why the city government isn’t doing more to support such action. This study intends to support progress in that direction. Design Trust director Susan Chin explains, “Right now, more than a dozen City agencies are involved with urban agriculture in some way, but none of them consider urban agriculture a core part of their mission. So they often lack the resources or authority to address urban agriculture, to incorporate it into existing, or potentially complementary plans and programs.”
We hope the Five Borough Farm study will encourage City officials to give more attention to assisting and supporting these awesome efforts to expand urban agriculture citywide.
Photos by Rob Stephenson