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Water Wednesdays Recap – What is Urban Agriculture?

Water Wednesdays in December will focus on Urban Agriculture. Last Water Wednesdays, Dr. Catherine Campbell gave an overview and discussed the benefits and risks of urban agriculture.

 What is Urban Agriculture?

There is no standard definition in the literature. Definitions differ depending on region, country, and field of study. Generally speaking, urban agriculture is food production (or animal husbandry) in urban or peri-urban areas, including commercial, non-commercial, and hybrid operations. It can a home, community, and institutional garden, bee keeping, aquaculture, hydroponics, or aquaponics.

Florida: Increasing Population & Urbanization

Florida has 20.5 million residents. 2 million people are added in the last decade. 44 of 67 Florida counties are classified as urban. 32 Florida counties became more urban in the last decade according to United States Department of Agriculture. 10 counties changed from a rural to an urban classification.

Benefits and Limitations

Urban agriculture provides opportunities for community interaction and increases social connections. It creates employment/workforce training opportunities, particularly for low-income and socially excluded populations. Research also indicates that property values increase surrounding community gardens, particularly in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Urban agriculture, however, is often initiated, implemented, and managed by groups from outside the community. It can alienating because outsiders are coming in to “fix” them or their community.

Watch the video to learn more about the benefits and limitations. Dr. Campbell discussed the benefits and limitations of urban agriculture from four perspectives: social & cultural impacts, economic & community development, health & wellbeing, and environment.

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