Op−Ed | Urban agriculture nurtures community action in Philadelphia: Why we should care?
Published: Monday, January 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 01:01
The code includes safeguards to ensure that urban agriculture positively affects its community. It requires permission from the landowner, fences next to residential zones and rodent resistant compost and trash, and restricts power tool use between sunset and sunrise.
As a student, I often think of issues of food security and the environment as large−scale, global and complex. But the new zoning code in Philadelphia, and the amendment of O’Neill’s bill to preserve it, offer an example of a policy that makes a direct and important impact on the agricultural community. The code encourages a path towards a sustainable, livable city, and it both reflects and encourages communal action.
Philadelphia emerges as a leader in urban agriculture to the extent that gardens and farms are becoming embedded in a changing cityscape, and for the example it provides of civic engagement as the city moves forward to support and legitimize it. I encourage people to pay attention to how urban agriculture is treated in their own home communities, especially Somerville and Boston.
Karen Bustard is a senior majoring in international relations. She can be reached at Karen.Bustard@tufts.edu.