Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

5-7-2015

Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

September

Advisor Name

Mark

Advisor Last Name

Hamin

Co-advisor Name

Jack

Co-advisor Last Name

Ahern

Third Advisor Name

Carey

Third Advisor Last Name

Clouse

Abstract

This thesis makes the connection between urban agriculture and a specific suite of ecosystem services and lays out a typology and toolkit for planners to take advantage of these ecosystem services. The services investigated here are: food production, water management, soil health, biodiversity, climate mitigation, and community development benefits. Research from a variety of fields was aggregated and synthesized to prove that urban agriculture can be beneficial for human as well as environmental health.

A set of urban agriculture typologies was generated to illustrate best practices to maximize a particular set of ecosystem services. The typologies are: production farm, stormwater garden, soil-building garden, habitat garden, climate mitigation farm, cultural/educational garden, and ecosystem garden. Each typology was paired with a precedent study to demonstrate how that typology might be realized in the real world.

Finally, a toolkit for planners was assembled to demonstrate some tools and techniques that planners might use to implement urban agriculture as a strategy for providing ecosystem services. Planners can utilize the toolkit to insert themselves into the urban ecosystem at multiple scales in a creative way to apply best practices and urban agriculture typologies in order to take advantage of the multiple benefits of urban agriculture.