Around 15 percent of the world's food is now grown in urban areas. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply food to about 700 million residents of cities, representing about a quarter of the world’s urban population. By 2030, 60 percent of people in developing countries will likely live in cities.
At Food Tank, we are amazed by the efforts of hundreds of
urban farms and gardens to grow organic produce, cultivate food
justice and equity in their communities, and revitalize urban
land. Urban agriculture not only contributes to food
security, but also to environmental stewardship and a cultural
reconnection with the land through education.
“The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the
importance of building sustainable cities,” says Maurizio Baruffi,
Chief of Staff of the Mayor of Milan, Italy. “The City of Milan is
partnering with urban areas around the world to embark on this
journey, starting from food.”
Do you want to discover urban agriculture projects in your
own city, or are you interested in visiting farms during your travels
to new urban areas? Check out these inspiring projects and SHARE
them with your social network!
is an urban agriculture and environmental action group located outside
of Capetown, South Africa. The organization supports and assists
groups and individuals looking to improve their livelihoods through
A nonprofit that promotes social and environmental justice
in Montreal, Canada, Alternatives’ Feeding Citizenship is growing
healthy food to fuel healthy communities. The project engages the
community through horticultural training programs while supporting
school and neighborhood gardens.
Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS)
An after-school and summer program, BUGS provides children from
low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland with a safe place for
learning. Kids can garden, visit local farms, and try new foods while
improving math and reading skills as well as exploring creative
Located in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, Camino Verde’s mission is to
plant trees and encourage environmental stewardship through
educational programs and public awareness. The project’s Living Seed
Bank acts as a botanical garden with over 250 tree species and
protects endangered varieties. Camino Verde has planted over 70
different fruit trees, 40 flowering species, and enough trees to cover
seven hectares of land.
Serving communities in
Canberra, Australia, Canberra City Farms is dedicated to establishing
learning hubs where people can collaborate and share their knowledge
of sustainable and environmentally responsible food production.
A 100 percent bike-powered compost recycling project in Austin,
Texas, Compost Pedallers strives to reduce waste, strengthen the local
food system, and connect the community with farms. Residents can sign
up to redirect organic waste to local farms and gardens through the
Detroit Dirt is a compost company that helps complete the “circle
of life” in food production by regenerating waste into resources.
Through partnerships with community coffee houses and local
businesses, the organization is hoping to instill a self-sustaining
culture of recycling organic waste and provide a valuable resource to
urban farms and gardens in Detroit.
A municipal organic farm nestled in an expansive park, Ferme de
Paris provides the public with vegetable gardens, orchards, medicinal
plant gardens and a number of farm animals housed in
sustainably-constructed buildings. City residents can even stay to
volunteer if they want to.
Fresh & Local
& Local is looking to use urban agriculture to improve the health
and wellbeing of Mumbai. The organization takes underutilized spaces
and transforms them into places of community empowered food
vom Dach (Fresh from the Roof)
An aquaponics project starting on the rooftop of a former malt
factory in Berlin, Germany, Frisch vom Dach uses nutrients from
aquaculture to irrigate plants in a mostly closed loop.
Machine Mobile Food Market
A collaborative project among a number of organizations in Memphis,
Tennessee, the Green Machine Mobile Food Market uses a bus to deliver
fresh fruits and vegetables to almost 400 customers in the food
deserts of South Memphis.
Grignon Energie Positive, located in Paris, France, is an
experimental farm run by the AgroParisTech program for sustainable
development. The farm is working to reduce energy inputs by developing
techniques that minimize its carbon footprint while growing enough
organic food to feed between 5,500 and 8,000 people annually.
Grow City is a nonprofit in San Francisco, California that works to
amend the way people consider the division between urban and rural to
build a “more secure, sustainable, and fair” food system.
An edible forest in Mexico City, Mexico with 45 tree varieties, a
seed bank, and a large section of bio-intensive gardening, Huerto
Tlatelolco was created with the objective of building the local
Finca del Sur
A nonprofit farming cooperative in the South Bronx, New York, La
Finca del Sur is led by Latina and black women. By empowering minority
women through economic and food stability, the project is contributing
to social and political equity in an underserved area.
Last Organic Outpost
The Last Organic Outpost is a research farm that teaches
sustainable agriculture techniques to residents of Houston, Texas. The
project targets underserved areas and supports local farmers so they
can develop a safe, healthy local food economy.
An urban farm in San Antonio, Texas, Local Sprout grows fresh
fruits and vegetables year-round using a hydroponic growing system.
The project aims to contribute to food security, provide education,
and reduce environmental impact.
Marathon Restaurants, a small, sustainably minded chain in
Philadelphia, now sources its fresh, organic produce from Marathon
Urban Farm. The farm is revitalizing urban land and providing
workshops on cooking and composting.
The Mazingira Institute provides training and support for urban
farmers in Nairobi, Kenya. The NGO has trained about three thousand
urban farmers and organized youth and women’s hubs.
Sound Agriculture and Craft Education
Natural Sound Agriculture and Craft Education is a private
enterprise that offers educational opportunities about agriculture and
food crafts to increase knowledge about urban gardening, sustainable
agriculture, and traditional skills like beekeeping, mushroom growing,
International Airport Urban Garden
At the Rotunda Building of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago,
Illinois, 26 vertical, aeroponic towers house herbs, greens, and
tomatoes. The project also raises animals that mow
the property’s lawn.
An urban farm in Tokyo that grows over 100 types of produce
indoors, underground, and on the exterior walls of the nine-story
office-style building, Pasona O2 has been described as technologically
Located in Montreal, Canada, The People’s Potato is a neighborhood
collective providing garden and greenhouse space for community
members. Volunteers grow and distribute organic produce to the
surrounding community and distribute vegan meals through a food bank.
The People’s Potato maintains an educational program in the form of
monthly workshops and an affordable Good Food Box program.
ReVision Urban Farm is a community-based urban agriculture project
that grows nutritious, culturally appropriate food for residents of
its family home and the Boston community. The project also teaches
locals about healthy eating and offers job training for youth and the
homeless in the area.
Roosevelt Row Growhouse is a revitalization initiative from two
artists that transformed a vacant, dilapidated property into a
learning center for urban desert vegetable farming, sustainable
living, healthy eating, and edible landscaping in Phoenix,
An urban farm and San Diego-based company that creates and
distributes small-scale vertical gardens, SoCal Urban Farms aims to
help anyone produce sustainable and healthy food, even with minimal
space and poor soil.
Farms of Central Ohio (UFCO)
A nonprofit organization formed by the Mid-Ohio
Foodbank, UFCO transforms vacant or under-utilized land into
community gardens to generate a sustainable source of food stability
for underserved communities.
Washington Youth Garden (WYG)
WYG is a community garden that teaches science, environmental
stewardship, and nutrition to youth in Washington, D.C. through
hands-on gardening experience.