Regulating Urban Agriculture as a Controversial Land Use Discussion

Urban agriculture has been a hot topic in planning, sprouting up in cities of all sizes, and in all regions, throughout the United States. Many believe urban agriculture can yield wide­-ranging environmental, health, and economic benefits. However, as the the recovery from the Great Recession continues, some are wondering whether agricultural purposes are still an appropriate use for vacant urban land, especially in light of agriculture's well-known nuisance effects in such settings. Others fail to see how urban agriculture can achieve its lofty goals and find it may be harmful to the environment, a danger to public health, and a poor economic use of urban land.

This session will discuss government incentives encouraging the production and distribution of urban agriculture, such as tax incentives or the sale or lease of public land available for urban agriculture activities. Explore the challenges that arise in the context of urban agriculture, including conflicting land uses, and the tools that can be used to regulate sometimes controversial agricultural activities in an urban environment. The presenters also will review the successes and failures associated with urban agriculture projects around the country and alternative uses for vacant urban land.

You'll learn about:

  • The policy goals promised and challenges imposed by agricultural activities in an urban environment
  • Regulatory tools used to promote and regulate urban agriculture
  • Take-home lessons and failures from urban agriculture projects around the United States