Grounds for Change: Activating Vacant Land

Greening the Urban Appetite

Idea

Tags: agriculture, apprenticeship, community, corridors, economy, education, food, foodsecurity, grow, infrastructure, jobs, landbank, landtrust, lotsoflots, Philadelphia, safety, smallplot, training, transit, urban, water

Urban agriculture as a tool for economic recovery.

Greening the Urban Appetite imagines returning vacant land to small-scale agricultural production for market, as a solution not only for urban food security but also for economic and infrastructural concerns. Jobs, reliable transit, and safe neighborhoods are important concerns for Philadelphians--as for city-dwellers everywhere--and Farmsteads are proposed as an alternative to development, densification, and other conventional solutions. The need for affordable, productive, and educational community investment is clearer than ever in the current economic climate. Through a Farmstead or similar plan, the City of Philadelphia would distribute vacant land to professional farmers in return for 10 years’ on-site agricultural production. Farmers would benefit by avoiding the high costs of land acquisition, transportation and distribution. The city would gain new neighborhood businesses while shedding the expense of maintaining vacant land. Training and apprenticeship programs would connect farmers and community, helping to establish a tradition of urban agriculture in Philadelphia's neighborhoods.