Urban agriculture enables the development of a variety of environmental, economic and social benefits for surrounding communities. Urban agriculture can reduce transportation costs, help reduce runoff associated with heavy rainfall, and improve air quality. Mill City Grows, an urban agriculture program in Lowell, Massachusetts, is a community connection center. As Francey says: “As the garden began to take shape, it started to generate a lot of attention.
People stopped at their cars to see the transformation. People from the local homeless shelter came to lend a hand and learn more. The neighbors stopped to tell us stories of the gardens they used to cultivate. In short, the farm became the nucleus of a newly formed community.
As community gathering places, urban farms can also play a vital role in crises such as the one we face today in the coronavirus pandemic. Mill City Grows, for example, is mobilizing to address the immediate food security needs of Lowell residents. They have offered emergency agricultural actions for families in need and opened their community gardens in April, with safety protocols in place. Mill City Grows is also redoubling its efforts to produce and distribute culturally important foods that are not available in grocery stores, including purchasing hard-to-find seeds for gardeners to grow their own cultural crops.
Urban agriculture programs can help local communities both economically and socially. They allow people to have a more immediate connection to their food, as well as helping to stimulate the local economy. Urban agriculture programs, such as community gardens, can target young people with non-traditional agricultural backgrounds, experts say. Urban agriculture, or commonly known as urban agriculture, refers to the cultivation of plants and the raising of food-producing animals within a city or town.
It also involves processing and then distributing those products throughout the city. This applies both to small-scale food production for personal or community use (urban gardening) and to commercial agriculture in urban areas (urban agriculture). All that said, the authors of Johns Hopkins point out, several studies have found that urban agriculture may have some less obvious environmental benefits. When an urban community is informed and educated, people turn out to be better informed urban consumers.
In addition, urban gardening and agriculture projects, such as Mill City Grows, can often provide job training and boost food entrepreneurship. These urban agricultural centers typically focus on improving access to food, transportation, and food quality. Specialization, niche production, multifunctionality, food chain management, food quality and food integration are rated by Wästfelt & Zhang (201) as appropriate for urban agriculture activities. Therefore, urban agriculture can have a number of wonderful social benefits, but they are not always widely shared.
Many urban agriculture programs help stimulate the local economy, as well as try to improve the community by hiring people who are rejoining the workforce. Urban farms can be small traditional outdoor community gardens or modern vertical farms in urban design. Regional green infrastructure systems in urban regions, which form a continuous system of open spaces often described as spatially coherent figures (green corridors, green wedges or green belts), can, in most cases, achieve this claim of continuity only if they include semi-natural areas used for agriculture. While urban agriculture can also involve animal husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, urban beekeeping and horticulture, today, we are only looking at growing crops, whether it's food or something to place you, heal or feed your soul.
In addition, urban farms offer critical opportunities for youth leadership, intergenerational collaboration and intercultural learning. Purdue University Extension educators define urban agriculture simply as growing or producing food in urban spaces. At the moment there are very few long-term experiences to combine urban agriculture and any use of wastewater, as would fit within the concept of a circular city. .