These 7 recommendations are from the conclusion of the book Growing better Cities: Urban Agriculture for Sustainable which I reviewed on Archinect (here).
1) Municipal governments need to start with the right question. This is “what can UA do for my city?”.
2) UA must be used to make suitable vacant space productive for all.
3) Include UA as an urban land use category and as an economic function in your planning system/manual.
4) Use a participatory policy-making approach.
5) Experiment with temporary occupancy permits (TOPS) for urban producers using private and public open space.
6) Support the organization of poor urban producers to manage UA in more and better ways.
7) Bring the needed research in tune with your policy exercise at the earliest possible opportunity.
What else can be said? Nothing.This book ends like so many books which explore the possibilities of agriculture within the urban landscape, with a depiction of the future. Pictured is an urban landscape in the year 2025 wherein agriculture has been integrated and developed, for use by the city (as infrastructure system), and citizens as both leisure and productive landscape with which they interact. Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (C.P.U.L.s) ended similarly. What is it about the concept of UA which invites such futurism and utopian picturing? Perhaps, it is still the influence of/desire for the pastoral? However, I think we are all to accepting of the contemporary urban condition to be truly pastoral. Meaning now the future as designers imagine it is an agriculture not outside of the city but in (or even on in many cases) the city. Integrated into, the city as farm-land. Though we may long in some way for the countryside. I think it is also the fact that UA addresses such fundamental concerns. Food, especially is a requirement not a luxury. Yet, nothing involves such ritual or mythic imagining as food… There is a creative narrative aspect to food, inherently.
Long live the conceptual grower.