Urban Agriculture – Good or Bad, but finally a Metric

I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with the lovely Kate Archdeacon on Friday at the EcoCity Food Forum and was fortunate enough to hear all about her current research for her Masters thesis in Urban Agriculture. Now before I go on if you haven’t come across Kate yet then you need to get into gear … and fast. She is a prolific researcher at VEIL and blogger at Sustainable Cities Network and Sustainable Melbourne. Get amongst those websites pronto for those keen to get knee deep in the sustainable scene in Melbourne.

But what makes Kate most brilliant is her current research into Urban Agriculture … because she is proposing that perhaps not all Urban Agriculture is good. She is suggesting that perhaps by manipulating the landscape in such a way that some Urban Agriculture is guilty of, then we are actaully creating the catastrophe that we are trying to escape. Its a freshing thought at a time when there is a lot of cheer squads around the whole Urban Agriculture scene. Kate is in her early days of Masters Research Land so as time goes on, I have no doubt that we will be hearing A LOT more from her.

But in the mean time, she has put me onto this little gold mine of a website called Five Borough Farm.

Five Borough Farm is a project of the Design Trust for Public Space in NYC. As there are now more community gardens in New York than Starbucks, it was high time for a roadmap be created for farmers and gardeners, City officials and other stakeholders to understand and weigh the benefits of urban agriculture. The site is FULL of amazing material to wade through, which I could recommend more highly.

A particular stand out for me is the metrics that was developed to survey the impacts of Urban Agriculture, the only study of its kind that I’ve come across so far..


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About Juliette

When Juliette was little, she came home from school and asked her mum in her little teary voice why the other kids at school didn’t like her. Her mum reassured her and said 'Don't worry Juliette, you're just different. That's all.' Since then, aware of her obvious difference to everyone else, Juliette is spending her time doing exactly what people wish to be doing – exactly what she wants. This blog is a celebration of taking a deep breath and just doing it. Currently Juliette can be found sipping tea and gardening somewhere in Central Victoria, Australia with her beloved and their excitable boys. She is also completing her PhD in Civic Agriculture and teaches at RMIT in Sustainable Consumption and Design Activism.

2 thoughts on “Urban Agriculture – Good or Bad, but finally a Metric

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