An animation shows how a variety of urban spaces can become miniature farms.

The idea of urban agriculture has spread so widely, you might expect to see tomato plants bursting from every empty city lot.

But in neighborhoods across the country, imagining is about as close as those tomatoes are going to get. Despite its growing cachet, urban agriculture hasn't materialized in many parts of the country. But a growing number of designers are trying to integrate these spaces into new and existing projects to increase access to fresh food in the urban population centers that need it.

This new video, commissioned by the American Society of Landscape Architects, explores ways urban agriculture can be integrated into small spaces within cities. It's part of an online exhibition of animations and case studies about designing sustainable landscapes. Its animation offers a nice visualization of how empty urban spaces can be converted into active and food-producing spaces.

Many of these interventions already exist in cities, in one form or another. About 38 percent of American households grow fruits, vegetables or herbs on their property, according to an article from Urban Land cited by the video. At a more formalized level, many new civic buildings are being designed with community farming spaces and rooftop gardens, though this trend is in its early stages. The examples shown in this video have relevance in almost any city, and many of these ideas are already in place.

The video spends maybe a little too much effort evangelizing about how landscape architects are the ones who can help create these spaces, but the grander message is that there are many opportunities within urban areas to grow food. The visualizations in the film show how significantly these garden spaces can change an urban landscape.

Image courtesy ASLA

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Orange traffic cones save parking spaces on a neighborhood street in South Boston.
    Life

    The Psychology of Boston's Snow Parking Wars

    In Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, an informal code allows residents to claim a parking space after shoveling it out. But the practice is often at odds both with the law and with the mores of changing neighborhoods.

  2. Transportation

    The Automotive Liberation of Paris

    The city has waged a remarkably successful effort to get cars off its streets and reclaim walkable space. But it didn’t happen overnight.

  3. An aisle in a grocery store
    Equity

    It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality

    A new study suggests that America’s great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access within cities.

  4. Transportation

    How Toronto Turned an Airport Rail Failure Into a Commuter Asset

    The Union Pearson Express launched with expensive rides and low ridership. Now, with fares slashed in half and a light rail connection in the works, it’s a legitimate transit alternative for workers.

  5. Two different Eiffel Towers rise above manicured lawns. The one on the left is an image from Tianducheng, a city in China, and the one on the right is an image from Paris.
    Photos

    Which One Is Paris?

    Francois Prost’s new photo series looks at Tianducheng, a town built to look exactly like the City of Lights.