Urban Farming: Growing Healthier Communities

July 16, 2021 — Highlight, The Big Picture

Urban Farming:
Growing Healthier Communities

Where was your last meal grown? Most of us who live in urban areas don’t have a simple answer to that question; our plates are often filled with produce harvested from all corners of the globe.

Our global food network and supply chains are vulnerable systems. As our planet warms and the climate shifts, meeting demands to feed a growing population will continue to pose social and environmental challenges to cities worldwide. Our current food systems are not distributed equitably, leaving large swaths of our cities without access to fresh local produce and nutritious options. 

Food forests, rooftop agriculture, and community gardens offer cross-cutting solutions to benefit residents. Reducing food travel time and building local capacity to cultivate fresh produce can begin to address food justice. Urban agriculture also has the potential to transform under-resourced communities into lush green spaces and creates opportunities for social connection among residents.

If done right, increasing proximity and access to our food is an equitable, sustainable way to reduce our carbon footprint and increase the socio-ecological resilience of our communities. Through advocating for urban agriculture, we can improve quality of life, connect communities, and nurture wellbeing in cities. Going forward, how can we build more humanistic cities through growing a connection to our food and distributing the benefits of green space for all to enjoy?

JULY 2021

Grow Food, Grow Gardeners, Grow Community

BY LISA HELPS, Mayor of Victoria

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How FoodShare Is Growing Food Justice in Toronto

BY PAUL TAYLOR, Executive Director of FoodShare

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The Circular Economy of Floating Farms

BY PETER VAN WINGERDEN, Founder of Floating Farms

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Towards a Local and Sustainable Food System  

BY RENZO MOROSI, President of the Environmental Protection Agency of the City of Buenos Aires


Kafi Dixon, urban farmer, community organizer, and “A Reckoning in Boston” Producer, shares her journey founding the Common Good Co-Op, and overcoming challenges created by the city, to boost economic development based on giving access to fresh hyper-local food, innovation and place-making.

Featuring moderator AfroUrbanist Lauren Hoodi, and A Reckoning in Boston Director, James Rutenbeck, also touching upon their experiences with systemic racism and wealth disparities in American cities.