Philadelphia Gets An Urban Agriculture Plan

The City of Philadelphia’s Parks & Recreation department recently published ‘Growing from the Root’ – a city-wide urban agriculture plan. The plan – the first of its kind for the city –  was created with input from 650 residents and urban gardening experts. Currently, the city has approximately 450 active agricultural spaces –  nearly 130 acres (~ 53 hectares) of land – which include individual gardens, community gardens, school gardens, community farms, and market farms.

The plan is a ten-year roadmap that aims to support sustainable agricultural activity. It focuses on values of transparency, racial and economic justice, and inclusion;  provides data about the current state of urban agriculture; offers recommendations on how to coordinate and strengthen urban agriculture efforts; identifies resources, policies, and programs to grow urban agriculture opportunities for all residents of the city; establishes a 10-year framework for investing in agriculture and food justice; abd puts the city on a path to become a fair local food system that supports urban agriculture.

Growing from the Root provides recommendations centered around six key goals:

  • providing access to growing space in all neighborhoods;
  • building support for urban agriculture initiatives into the City’s policies and programs;
  • investing in existing and new systems to support a sustainable and fair food system;
  • support locally-sourced, nutritious meals and increasing fresh food access;
  • meeting existing zero-waste commitments and creating new ones; and
  • recognizing the role urban agriculture can play in the lives of people and communities.

Funding for the plan was provided by the William Penn Foundation, Partners for Places, and The Nature Conservancy.