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    Jorge Cancela

    Dear All,

    In the biggest metropolitan area in Portugal (Lisbon) we are now watching a comeback of informal urban agriculture areas, mainly due – we think – to the economic crisis, more free time of unemployed or retired people and the significant presence of former portuguese colonies migrants (mainly construction workers) who also have the tradition, pleasure and sometimes necessity to cultivate their vegetables.

    I would like to ask if you also see in your cities/countries increased areas of urban agriculture, and if so, if you have an idea why.

    Thanks a lot

    Roland Beinert

    In the US it varies from city to city. San Francisco seems to have a lot of urban farming from what I’ve read. Reno, NV has a group called a permaculture guild, which focuses on sustainable urban/suburban agriculture. In most cases, it’s being driven by the environmental movement in the US, I think. Many environmentalists are concerned about where their food comes from, as they find out more about factory farms or find that their kids have food allergies. Economic concerns are also a factor, since food costs have risen.
    I think what’s just as interesting is what is happening to agriculture as it is affected by environmental concerns. Follow the link to see what I mean: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1145431/Now-farm-help-teach-world-live-oil-says-woman-banished-plastic-bags-town.html


    I am not from an urban area-but suburban. We have a lot have oak forest, rock and sand (we are near the shore) I assist with the town’s community garden which is situated on on old farm that was donated to the town.We have had increasing requests for plots in the last few years.I sense that is both financially and socially driven.

    People really want to connect with their neighbors and the atmosphere of asking for and sharing knowledge in such a wonderful physical place creates instant frienships. Meeting in a space that is owned by us all and worked by our own hands builds stonger bonds. I have noticed that most of the people are young middle age to retired. I have not seen alot of young people in the garden other than people who bring their childern. I wonder why 20 and early 30’s seem less interested-or it may be the demographics of my town!

    And I agree with the idea that people are concerned about where their food is coming from. I have heard concerns expressed about this-and if the large processors of food really care about food saftey and the environement.

    Craig Verzone

    The slow food movement has a lot to do with it. As well as the need to decrease our dependence on oil as well as the heightened interest to counter globalization. Planting a few vegetables nearby certainly addresses all three issues. Rural urbanism might in fact prove to be the topic of our generation. Our studio is in the process of growing a micro-farm / macro-garden and we hope to greatly increase our production this spring and summer.

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