The city council for Erie, Pennsylvania, recently passed legislation amending zoning codes so that urban farming can be done within city limits.
Voting unanimously to pass the measure on June 21, the zoning changes will allow for several parks and neighborhoods to create community gardens and grow a wide-array of farm-oriented crops.
Prior to the passage of the proposal, the zoning code only allowed for urban farming to take place in areas zoned for light manufacturing, and excluded residential areas.
According to local coverage by GoErie.com, the vote comes as a wink to a national trend of urban farming. Several cities nationwide have authorized urban farming as a means to form community and increase self-efficiency for citizens.
Erie's authorization is the latest proposal.
In larger cities like New York City, urban farming has exploded as cities have worked with stakeholders to allow the practice on a broad scale.
After the NYC city government amended zoning laws in 2012 to allow for rooftop greenhouses, property owners and landlords have been able to see opportunities for profit and uniqueness in property offering.
“The landlords now see a way to use their space wisely,” said Annie Novak, a local farmer said via amNY.com. “Now there is a positive shift from the community who want to see these spaces.”
Rooftop farms and entirely re-purposed tracts of dilapidated property has paved the way for an uptick in urban farming in the majority of these locations. For example, one farm in Virginia Beach serves as a self-sustaining, profitable business--rather then being a community project. This very farm produces enough crops to supply two farmers markets for a relatively low cost implication to the operators.
What do you think about urban farming? Is it the future?
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