New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a constant advocate for the green world in so many ways. His latest feat came yesterday when he signed into law a series of laws that will promote locally grown food in New York City. The new laws will help the city buy more food that is grown and processed in New York State, they’ll help keep track of how food is delivered and sold in the city, and perhaps most exciting, will help promote rooftop farming and urban agriculture. Previously there have been several laws standing in the way of the local food movement in New York, but hopefully this new legislation will help open the city’s doors to the widespread adoption of fresh, local, nutritious food.
“These provisions will help the city and the public better track where agencies’ food comes from and where tax dollars are spent,” Bloomberg said when he signed the laws. “It will also result in agencies buying much more food from farms and processing facilities in the Empire State — a commendable goal indeed.”
Local food advocates around the city are beaming with the news of the laws becoming offical. “The city has an immense purchasing power,” Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director of GrowNYC, told the New York Times. “From our perspective, it’s great.”
The piece of legislation affecting rooftop gardens should be especially helpful through the exemption of rooftop gardens and greenhouses from height restrictions and floor-area measurements. Previously, rooftop farming had been hindered if the building was not coded to have that amount of floor space or the garden — or greenhouse addition — would have exceeded neighborhood height constraints.
Kudos to Bloomberg, who just keeps on pushing through previously untouched areas of green growth in New York — expanded bike lanes, green spaces, water conservation, air pollution restrictions and recycling programs have all come under his watch.