Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’
The Inter Press Service’s Aruna Dutt looks at urban agriculture in the world, starting from New York City.
Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities this coming October will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security, but here in New York City, it has shown potential for much more.
Record-high levels of inequality are being felt most prominently in the world’s cities. Even In New York City, the heart of the developed world, many urban communities have food security issues.
Since the year 2000, New York City food costs have increased by 59 percent, while the average income of working adults has only increased by 17 percent.
Forty two percent of households in the city lack the income needed to cover necessities like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and healthcare but still earn too much to qualify for government assistance.
Last year, OneNYC was introduced, a plan specifically aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, aiming to lift 800,000 people out of poverty in a decade.
Dave LeBlanc’s special in The Globe and Mail looks at the state of urban agriculture in Detroit. Can it truly be a lasting phenomenon?
It’s a patch of land that contained 12 houses in its heyday.
Five years ago, it contained nothing.
Today, after four years of urban farming, the southwest corner of Custer and Brush Streets in Detroit’s North End neighbourhood has become a literal cornucopia. In the past two years, it’s pumped out 400,000 pounds of produce that has fed 2,000 households within two square miles. It has provided valuable volunteer experience for 8,000 local residents who have collectively put in 80,000 hours, which have been valued at $1.8-million (U.S.).
Tyson Gersh, 26, a University of Michigan student and co-founder of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) in 2011, estimates that about $2-million has also arrived in the form of new investment as abandoned houses are purchased nearby, which are then renovated and filled with tenants. And all of these new eyes, whether on the faces of volunteer farmers or new residents, create a safer place to live.
Yet, offers Mr. Gersh, “I believe that the current [city] administration sees urban agriculture as nothing more than a transitional land use; I don’t think they see it as having any long-term relevance to the city that we think they should have.”