If you are nervously checking the news more often than you should, or sick of election news, or trying NOT to read election news until there is substantive news to hear later tonight (or if you just want to read an interesting article about a really well thought out urban agriculture project) check out this article:
The Mayor of London has collaborated with the Chair of London Food to come up with Capital Growth, a large-scale greening project turning 2,012 pieces of land into urban farms. Their big idea is fantastic: by the year 2012, London will be home to a thriving infrastructure of urban farms freeing residents (to some extent) from a reliance on foreign food and unhealthy options. This project is an instance of practical follow-through from visionary policy proposals: read the London Food Strategy 2006 for great statistics both on the dire need for local food in London and on the powerful advocacy and small-scale local production already taking place within the city. The website and the food strategy PDF speak for themselves, and I will let you explore, but I keep coming back to the ease with which the website invites everyone to contribute, the positive way it frames local production, and the amazing subway/vine graphic — so organic and urban!
Imagine this image on 2,102 different pieces of land! Obvious from the cutesy coincidence between year and number of properties, and from the call for usable land on the website is the fact that this is a project in the works. It takes a Clinton Global Initiative model: specific, measurable and new.
This website is an example on a city-wide scale of what we hope to begin at NYU through the upcoming partnerships between various urban agriculture advocacy groups and initiatives around campus (and maybe in the surrounding community). More on these partnerships soon — perhaps, with a little effort, NYU can take London’s example.