Multifunctional urban and peri-urban agriculture
Date: 2013-04-23 15:52:28 User:
Some relevant experiences with respect to Multifunctional urban and peri-urban agriculture that were posted on an a parallel forum (FAO Food-for-cities) mailing list) in response to the following question posed by Marielle:

Dear all

I am looking for example (anywhere in the world) on small-scale multi-functional agriculture and agroforestry in urban green corridors and peri-urban areas, especially in locations where other uses are less desirable (flood and earthquake-prone zones, steep slopes, areas with special ecological or landscape values).

I am interested to know where such practices take place, what the multiple functions performed are (food production as well as reuse of composted urban wastes, storm water drainage, recreation etc) and how these are financed.

I will post an update on examples that I will receive and have already gathered myself.

Thank you in advance

Marielle Dubbeling
Date: 2013-04-23 15:54:51 User: Authorless
Two examples from New York: (1) New York City finances the Watershed Agriculture Council through water fees to support whole farm planning, agroforestry businesses, and rural town planning as a way to support sustainable agriculture in the city's watershed to reduce runoff from farms and to keep the area rural in order to avoid the need to build a filtration plant for the city's reservoirs; and (2) NYC financed three farms as part of its green infrastructure program (which aims to increase permeable surfaces to reduce combined sewer overflow), one located in the Gowanus canal superfund site and another on the rooftop of an industrial building in brooklyn.

Date: 2013-04-23 15:55:24 User: Authorless
The Toronto and Region Conservation (TRC) authority is a watershed authority here in Canada that is beginning to use urban agriculture as part of its land management strategy. The McVean Farm, for example, is a heritage property, owned by the TRC, and used for the FarmStart NGO project to foster new farmers.


School of Environmental Design & Rural Development
University of Guelph
Guelph ON Canada N1G 2W1
Date: 2013-04-23 15:56:23 User: Authorless
I enclose a paper (in French) on how multifunctionality of the agricultural region Niayes next to Dakar is perceived by various stakeholders, how it stands in reality and in the urban projects.
Date: 2013-05-08 12:29:11 User: Authorless
Discover the experience in Milan with the Carta of Milan (a governance strategic tool) (please see

Prof. Giovanni Sanesi
Dipartimento di Scienze agro-ambientali e territoriali
Università degli Studi di Bari
Via Amendola, 165/A
70126 Bari - ITALY
Tel. +39 080 5443023
Fax. +39 080 5442508
Date: 2013-05-08 18:06:38 User: Marielle Dubbel
Please find here more information on New York (see above) where urban agriculture is promoted as part of their green infrastructure programme:

New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently funded three new urban agriculture projects: a rooftop garden at a settlement house, a vegetable garden near the Gowanus Canal and a commercial rooftop farm atop a Brooklyn Navy Yard building. These projects are part of an innovative green infrastructure program to turn impervious roofs, vacant lots and streets into spaces that soak up the rain and prevent water pollution. Supporting urban farms and gardens as a means of keeping our waterways clean is an excellent idea, and should be dramatically scaled up.
New York has already spent billions on 14 wastewater treatment plants that handle the dry-weather sewage that flows from homes and businesses. Thanks to this technology, the harbor is cleaner than it has been in generations. But our sewers also collect rainwater, which mixes with raw sewage (called “combined sewer overflow,” or CSO) and is dumped into nearby rivers and creeks through hundreds of pipes to avoid inundating the treatment plants. Tens of billions of gallons of CSOs pollute our harbor each year, hindering the recovery of our estuarine ecosystem. The Clean Water Act requires New York City to control these overflows.
To do so, DEP has committed to investing $187 million in green infrastructure over the next four years, including “blue roofs” that hold rainwater, extra-large street tree planters, “green streets,” parking lots paved with porous concrete, and vacant paved lots turned into gardens. Over 20 years, the total cost for this green infrastructure will be $2.4 billion – $1.5 billion in public dollars (paid by water fees and state and federal funds) and $0.9 billion in private investments, plus $2.9 billion in cost-effective conventional improvements.
The green expenditure is a bargain compared to the estimated $6.8 billion over the next 20 years that would otherwise be required for “bricks and mortar” infrastructure like underground storage tanks and tunnels. Moreover, green infrastructure reduces air pollution, cools the city during hot summer months, increases property values and provides other ecological and quality of life benefits valued at between $139 and $418 million. When the green infrastructure is a farm or garden, it supplies fresh fruit or vegetables as an added bonus.
DEP’s green infrastructure program represents a unique opportunity for New York City to substantially expand its already robust network of urban farms and community gardens while simultaneously tackling the CSO problem. There are nearly 2,000 acres of vacant land in the areas contributing to sewage overflows, mostly impervious surfaces. There are also thousands of buildings that could support rooftop farms. Interest in growing food locally is at an all-time high, and gardeners, farmers, entrepreneurs, and farming organizations would jump at the chance to have access to additional space to farm. In locales such as the Bronx River watershed, in which CSO problems coincide with limited food access, the benefits to the environment and to public health would be substantial.
See more:
Supurbfood. Towards sustainable modes of urban and peri-urban food provisioning - - Disclaimer