The Potential for Urban Agriculture in
New York City
Developing agricultural capacity within or close to urban areas like
New York City has the potential to reduce food transportation costs
and environmental impacts, provide economic development opportunities,
and reduce disparities in healthful access that have contributed to
epidemic rates of obesity and diabetes especially among low-income
populations. Despite these advantages, there are challenges to
establishing the viability of urban production as compared to more
conventional agricultural practices, including scalability, energy
efficiency, and labor costs.
There are two primary research questions that this study aim to
What is the capacity of NYC for urban crop production?
Understanding how much land in NYC could be productively used for
agriculture and horticulture and how much could realistically be
grown, are important steps toward increasing knowledge and
establishing a baseline for evaluating the potential costs and
benefits of urban agriculture.
What the potential benefits of urban agriculture in NYC?
Issues considered as part of this project include:
1. Impact of urban agriculture on food security, including an
assessment of the relationship between potential urban agriculture
sites and the existing "food environment."
2. Implications of agricultural land uses for stormwater runoff and
combined sewer overflow (CSO) mitigation.
3. Impacts on energy use, including consideration of how urban
agriculture could mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce
built environment energy consumption.
4. Implications for waste reduction, which include evaluations of the
city's existing municipal and commercial waste streams and
opportunities for composting for agricultural purposes.
This study has been made possible through
the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Click on
image below to read more.