Publication Date

2-2011

Committee Members

Mark Lindhult, Chair - Mark Hamin, Member - John Gerber, Member

Abstract

Modern, conventional food systems vulnerable to declining fossil fuel resources are a 21st century plight demanding rapid transition to regenerative agricultural practices. Urban agriculture is currently responding; expanding and diversifying from recent and historic roots worldwide to help meet the needs of contemporary urban dwellers and ameliorate the aftereffects of industrial agriculture.

Urban Agriculture is comprised of many different styles, practices, and modes of production. From traditional to state-of-the-art, they result in a range of landscape typologies occurring around the globe. The tremendous variety creates the need for better articulation and more accurate distinctions between actual urban farm systems. In order to understand their respective advantages and disadvantages, and the differences and similarities of disparate modes of production, a comprehensive method is needed that allows for comparative analysis and assessment.

The evaluative framework developed for this research is a tool for evaluating urban farm systems with a current and comprehensive set of criteria and metrics. It can be used to inform and inspire urban planners, designers, policymakers and community members seeking to maximize the potential of existing projects or successfully customize urban agriculture in new locations.

While the long term role and significance of urban food production in feeding the global population is unclear, understanding its myriad benefits and positive impacts locally and globally is imperative.

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