The Urban Agriculture Working Group is a multi-sector coalition of food justice, open space, community health and environmental advocates working to increase fresh food access and green spaces when and where appropriate in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles.
LOCAL POLICIES UNDERWAY
Edible Landscapes/Edible Parkways (CF 13-0478)
Rooftop Gardens (CF 13-0546)
Beekeeping in R-1 Zones (CF 12-0785)
AB-551 Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones (CF 14-1378)
City of LA policy resources:
City of LA Sustainability Plan: plan.lamayor.org
Plan for a Healthy LA: healthyplan.la
Re:code LA: recode.la
Local urban agriculture resources:
Our purpose is to foster the development of a sustainable, local, food-growing system in LA by facilitating collaboration, research and policy changes. We will engage the region in drafting, advocating for, and implementing policy that prioritizes the growing, sharing, selling, and distributing of locally grown food whenever and wherever possible
A number of cities in the United States are developing and implementing policies that legalize and structurally support, through financing, zoning, and community engagement, the expansion of Urban Agriculture in their jurisdictions. A groundswell of grassroots initiatives toward growing food in the Los Angeles region have revealed a need for a comprehensive policy and set of programs that make it easy for the population of LA to engage in Urban Agriculture. Access to available land must be one of the first steps in such a program, which should also include zoning and regulatory streamlining.
This policy focus is born out of a sense of responsibility to improve a number of social and ecological factors that impact our region. The public health and ecological damage of industrial agriculture and food processing as well as a lack of fresh produce in poorer neighborhoods are a few examples. Moreover, urban sprawl, deindustrialization and divestment in neighborhoods have left many open spaces and vacant lots that could be transformed into food-growing enclaves, bringing abundance, nourishment, and economic development where there is now urban blight.
We define Urban Agriculture broadly, to include urban farms (commercial ventures that sell food), community gardens (which enable people to grow food for their own consumption), backyard gardens (which can be used for either purpose), public property-based gardens (such as school gardens), and gardens in affordable housing developments. The point of Urban Agriculture is to grow food locally, to be distributed, purchased, and consumed by local residents, thus improving the quality and nutritional content of food accessible to city residents and building regional food security. Urban agriculture can also contribute to local economic development, and provide much needed jobs, while helping to feed everyone, including the unemployed.
We see Urban Agriculture as a regional endeavor. As we work through the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC) to develop a comprehensive policy and program to make the City of Los Angeles a center of Urban Agriculture, it is essential that our County and unincorporated neighbors are engaged. Southern California has always been a prime candidate for developing a program for locally grown food. Our benign climate allows for year-round growing. Our region can support these initiatives and we encourage our policy makers to do so as well. All residents of Los Angeles deserve equal access to safe, fresh and affordable produce in their communities. Our hope is that, by growing more of our own food, we will help to build a healthier and stronger community for all our residents.
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