Seems you can’t go anywhere these days without hearing mention of urban agriculture. Urban agriculture is where the politics of food production, the sustainability of food distribution, the use of public space, and the health of both our bodies and our communities all come together. So when it’s done right, what’s not to love? When we launched this website last year, our pilot feature was a five-part video documentary that profiled different characters and processes in the story of East New York’s agricultural renaissance. We did this because the story of urban agriculture rarely includes its very urban complexity: land use laws, community organizing, geographic analysis, not to mention farming know-how. But its complexity and local specificity shouldn’t preclude comprehensive planning. Which is one of the reasons the Design Trust for Public Space is partnering with one of the city’s most successful urban farms, Red Hook’s Added Value, and with its biggest landowner, the city itself, to create the country’s first urban-scale plan for urban agriculture. And they need your help. Apply for one of these two prestigious fellowships in the fields of metrics/evaluation and policy/sustainable development for the chance to play a part. The Fellows will work closely with each other, and with Design Trust staff, who will manage the project. The plan is to “inventory existing agricultural activity in the five boroughs and assess underutilized arable land in order to identify opportunities for City agencies to support urban agriculture.” The anticipated timeframe for the project is 12 months, beginning in March 2010. Hurry up and apply, applications are due February 3rd.
The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.