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28 Most Inspiring Urban Agriculture Projects Around the World
Around 15 percent of the world's food is now grown in urban areas. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply food to about 700 million residents of cities, representing about a quarter of the world’s urban population. By 2030, 60 percent of people in developing countries will likely live in cities.
The Green Machine Mobile Food Market uses a bus to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to almost 400 customers in the food deserts of South Memphis. Photo credit: Green Machine Mobile Food Market
At Food Tank, we are amazed by the efforts of hundreds of urban farms and gardens to grow organic produce, cultivate food justice and equity in their communities and revitalize urban land. Urban agriculture not only contributes to food security, but also to environmental stewardship and a cultural reconnection with the land through education.
The Urban Food Policy Pact (UFPP), signed on World Food Day, addresses the potential of cities to contribute to food security through urban agriculture. A technical team of 10 members organized physical and virtual workshops with many of the 45 cities participating in the pact, and drafted a framework for action that includes 37 provisions covering the themes of governance, food supply and distribution, sustainable diets and nutrition, poverty alleviation, food production, and food and nutrient recovery.
“The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the importance of building sustainable cities,” says Maurizio Baruffi, Chief of Staff of the Mayor of Milan, Italy. “The City of Milan is partnering with urban areas around the world to embark on this journey, starting from food.”
Do you want to discover urban agriculture projects in your own city or are you interested in visiting farms during your travels to new urban areas? Check out these inspiring projects, and find even more links to urban agriculture projects below.
Abalimi is an urban agriculture and environmental action group located outside of Capetown, South Africa. The organization supports and assists groups and individuals looking to improve their livelihoods through organic farming.
A nonprofit that promotes social and environmental justice in Montreal, Canada, Alternatives’ Feeding Citizenship is growing healthy food to fuel healthy communities. The project engages the community through horticultural training programs while supporting school and neighborhood gardens.
An after-school and summer program, BUGS provides children from low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland with a safe place for learning. Kids can garden, visit local farms and try new foods while improving math and reading skills as well as exploring creative entrepreneurial projects.
Located in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Camino Verde’s mission is to plant trees and encourage environmental stewardship through educational programs and public awareness. The project’s Living Seed Bank acts as a botanical garden with over 250 tree species and protects endangered varieties. Camino Verde has planted over 70 different fruit trees, 40 flowering species, and enough trees to cover seven hectares of land.
Serving communities in Canberra, Australia, Canberra City Farms is dedicated to establishing learning hubs where people can collaborate and share their knowledge of sustainable and environmentally responsible food production.
A 100 percent bike-powered compost recycling project in Austin, Texas, Compost Pedallers strives to reduce waste, strengthen the local food system and connect the community with farms. Residents can sign up to redirect organic waste to local farms and gardens through the bicycle-powered network.
Detroit Dirt is a compost company that helps complete the “circle of life” in food production by regenerating waste into resources. Through partnerships with community coffee houses and local businesses, the organization is hoping to instill a self-sustaining culture of recycling organic waste and provide a valuable resource to urban farms and gardens in Detroit.
A municipal organic farm nestled in an expansive park, Ferme de Paris provides the public with vegetable gardens, orchards, medicinal plant gardens and a number of farm animals housed in sustainably-constructed buildings. City residents can even stay to volunteer if they want to.
Fresh & Local is looking to use urban agriculture to improve the health and well-being of Mumbai. The organization takes underutilized spaces and transforms them into places of community empowered food production.
Frisch vom Dach (Fresh from the Roof)
An aquaponics project starting on the rooftop of a former malt factory in Berlin, Germany, Frisch vom Dach uses nutrients from aquaculture to irrigate plants in a mostly closed loop.
A collaborative project among a number of organizations in Memphis, Tennessee, the Green Machine Mobile Food Market uses a bus to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to almost 400 customers in the food deserts of South Memphis.
Grignon Energie Positive, located in Paris, France, is an experimental farm run by the AgroParisTech program for sustainable development. The farm is working to reduce energy inputs by developing techniques that minimize its carbon footprint while growing enough organic food to feed between 5,500 and 8,000 people annually.
Grow City is a nonprofit in San Francisco, California that works to amend the way people consider the division between urban and rural to build a “more secure, sustainable, and fair” food system.
An edible forest in Mexico City, Mexico with 45 tree varieties, a seed bank, and a large section of bio-intensive gardening, Huerto Tlatelolco was created with the objective of building the local community.
A nonprofit farming cooperative in the South Bronx, New York, La Finca del Sur is led by Latina and black women. By empowering minority women through economic and food stability, the project is contributing to social and political equity in an underserved area.
The Last Organic Outpost is a research farm that teaches sustainable agriculture techniques to residents of Houston, Texas. The project targets underserved areas and supports local farmers so they can develop a safe, healthy local food economy.
An urban farm in San Antonio, Texas, Local Sprout grows fresh fruits and vegetables year-round using a hydroponic growing system. The project aims to contribute to food security, provide education and reduce environmental impact.
Marathon Restaurants, a small, sustainably minded chain in Philadelphia, now sources its fresh, organic produce from Marathon Urban Farm. The farm is revitalizing urban land and providing workshops on cooking and composting.
The Mazingira Institute provides training and support for urban farmers in Nairobi, Kenya. The NGO has trained about 3,000 urban farmers and organized youth and women’s hubs.
Natural Sound Agriculture and Craft Education is a private enterprise that offers educational opportunities about agriculture and food crafts to increase knowledge about urban gardening, sustainable agriculture and traditional skills like beekeeping, mushroom growing and brick-making.
At the Rotunda Building of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, 26 vertical, aeroponic towers house herbs, greens, and tomatoes. The project also raises animals that mow the property’s lawn.
An urban farm in Tokyo that grows over 100 types of produce indoors, underground and on the exterior walls of the nine-story office-style building, Pasona O2 has been described as technologically intensive.
Located in Montreal, Canada, The People’s Potato is a neighborhood collective providing garden and greenhouse space for community members. Volunteers grow and distribute organic produce to the surrounding community and distribute vegan meals through a food bank. The People’s Potato maintains an educational program in the form of monthly workshops and an affordable Good Food Box program.
ReVision Urban Farm is a community-based urban agriculture project that grows nutritious, culturally appropriate food for residents of its family home and the Boston community. The project also teaches locals about healthy eating and offers job training for youth and the homeless in the area.
Roosevelt Row Growhouse is a revitalization initiative from two artists that transformed a vacant, dilapidated property into a learning center for urban desert vegetable farming, sustainable living, healthy eating and edible landscaping in Phoenix, Arizona.
An urban farm and San Diego-based company that creates and distributes small-scale vertical gardens, SoCal Urban Farms aims to help anyone produce sustainable and healthy food, even with minimal space and poor soil.
Urban Farms of Central Ohio (UFCO)
A nonprofit organization formed by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, UFCO transforms vacant or under-utilized land into community gardens to generate a sustainable source of food stability for underserved communities.
WYG is a community garden that teaches science, environmental stewardship and nutrition to youth in Washington, D.C. through hands-on gardening experience.
These are just a few examples from a cornucopia of urban agriculture projects happening in these cities. To learn more, read the full lists here:
- Mexico City
- New York City
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Washington DC
Check out The Good Stuff's video on urban farming:
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
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