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Accepted Paper:

Urban vs. Peri-Urban: Mapping the future of thriving urban agriculture  

Authors:

Gundula Proksch (University of Washington)
Erin Horn (University of Washington, Seattle)

Paper short abstract:

This project investigates the future of thriving urban agriculture by mapping its expressed value (social, economic, environmental) and success criteria by juxtaposing economic challenges urban farms face with the benefits they bring to communities in New York, Chicago, and Seattle.

Paper long abstract:

While growing food in the city and growing food to feed a city are not yet synonymous, advances in commercial-scale urban agricultural systems, such as hydroponics and aquaponics, and technical capacity to assess how and where they have the best potential for implementation and integration, bolster a viable future of increasingly self-feeding urban fabrics. Community-oriented food production and educational urban agriculture operations are equally vital for rapidly growing global urban populations. The sustainable and multimodal impacts of urban agriculture are manifested differently by forms of urban growing ranging in application of technology and scale, with economic viability and social benefits disparately expressed.

Through an integrated mapping exercise of the expressed value (including social, economic, environmental) and success criteria of urban agriculture, we ask: what makes food urban? Comparing three North American cities: New York, Chicago, and Seattle, this set of maps investigates and juxtaposes the economic challenges urban farms face with the benefits they bring to communities. Using GIS and open data sources, we map among multiple factors urban agriculturally relevant metro area sites- identified as commercial, educational and social and grouped by size; commercial data points including land value and commercial rent levels; demographic data and key indicators of social equity; and potential future sites for urban agricultural operations. Where, and how, urban agriculture can succeed is a vital determinant of the potential success and scalability of urban agriculture to feed our growing cities.

Panel MA01a
Mapping the Edible City: Making visible communities and food spaces in the city