Land Use Planning Topics
Sustainability: Urban Agriculture
References that have links are freely available on the internet.
Alvey, A. (2006). Promoting and preserving biodiversity in the urban forest. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 5, 195–201.
This contribution concisely highlights some examples of urban biodiversity research from various areas of the world. Key issues involved in understanding the patterns and processes that affect urban biodiversity, such as the urban–rural gradient and biotic homogenization, are addressed. The potential for urban areas to harbor considerable amounts of biodiversity needs to be recognized by city planners and urban foresters so that management practices that preserve and promote that diversity can be pursued. Management options should focus on increasing biodiversity in all aspects of the urban forest, from street trees to urban parks and woodlots.
Aubry, C., Ramamonjisoa, J., Dabat, M. H., Rakotoarisoa, J., Rakotondraibe, J., & Rabeharisoa, L. (2012). Urban agriculture and land use in cities: An approach with the multi-functionality and sustainability concepts in the case of Antananarivo (Madagascar). Land Use Policy, 29(2), 429-439.
Urban planners are increasingly interested in agriculture around cities and have to decide whether to maintain or not areas of agricultural land use within and close to growing cities. There is therefore a need for researchers to design tools to guide public decision-making on land use. Various approaches, originating from different disciplines, may be adopted in this respect. We designed an interdisciplinary research program in order to test two related concepts: the “sustainability” and the “multi-functionality” of agriculture. We show that these concepts provide a useful framework for obtaining appropriate knowledge about urban agriculture, which urban planners could apply in real situations. In close collaboration with urban planners, we applied an interdisciplinary research methodology, based on common farm surveys and territorial approaches, to the Antananarivo area (Madagascar). The main functions analyzed were the food production and environmental roles of urban agriculture. Two aspects of sustainability were assessed: the farm sustainability and the territorial sustainability, with expert scores.
Irvine, S., Johnson, L., & Peters, K. (1999). Community gardens and sustainable land use planning: A case‐study of the Alex Wilson community garden. Local Environment, 4(1), 33-46.
An analytical account of the history and aspirations of the Alex Wilson Community Garden in Toronto provides an ideal opportunity to examine the connections between two typically distinct enterprises: ecological restoration and community gardening. These are both important contemporary ecological movements, but are rarely combined in a single project that demonstrates the principles of sustainable land use and community planning. This case‐study reports on the innovative approach to landscape design taken in the garden, which reconstructs the natural and cultural history of southern Ontario, featuring lake‐shore, agricultural and woodland sections. The garden has been planted exclusively with native plant species, and is expected to have a positive impact on local biodiversity. The planning process which led up to the design of the garden was participatory in nature, encompassing friends and colleagues of Alex Wilson, local residents and city planning officials, and made use of a number of planning tools not usually applied in an urban setting, including the granting of a conservation easement. The garden also addresses emerging issues associated with globalisation and large cities by providing food production opportunities for local residents, including a low‐income housing complex and a nearby drop‐in centre. Ecological monitoring and assessment of the naturalised area will be carried out by local residents.
Lovell, S. T. (2010). Multifunctional urban agriculture for sustainable land use planning in the United States. Sustainability, 2(8), 2499-2522.
Urban agriculture offers an alternative land use for integrating multiple functions in densely populated areas. While urban agriculture has historically been an important element of cities in many developing countries, recent concerns about economic and food security have resulted in a growing movement to produce food in cities of developed countries including the United States. In these regions, urban agriculture offers a new frontier for land use planners and landscape designers to become involved in the development and transformation of cities to support community farms, allotment gardens, rooftop gardening, edible landscaping, urban forests, and other productive features of the urban environment. Despite the growing interest in urban agriculture, urban planners and landscape designers are often ill-equipped to integrate food-systems thinking into future plans for cities. The challenge (and opportunity) is to design urban agriculture spaces to be multifunctional, matching the specific needs and preferences of local residents, while also protecting the environment. This paper provides a review of the literature on urban agriculture as it applies to land use planning in the United States. The background includes a brief historical perspective of urban agriculture around the world, as well as more recent examples in the United States. Land use applications are considered for multiple scales, from efforts that consider an entire city, to those that impact a single building or garden. Barriers and constraints to urban agriculture are discussed, followed by research opportunities and methodological approaches that might be used to address them. This work has implications for urban planners, landscape designers, and extension agents, as opportunities to integrate urban agriculture into the fabric of our cities expand.