Wednesday, March 20, 2024

City Agriculture - March 20, 2024

 Dickson Despommier Wants Our Cities to Be Like Forests

hat tip G. S. Murphy from Boston Food System 

Babak Babakinejad Ph.D., the MIT whistleblower who brought attention to public safety concerns and the lack of scientific integrity in MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative and its Food Computer Project

A longitudinal field study across 5 years (2018–2022) to understand how insect communities responded to newly established habitat on solar energy facilities in agricultural landscapes
"Our observations highlight the relatively rapid (<4 year) insect community responses to grassland restoration activities and provide support for solar-pollinator habitat as a feasible conservation practice to safeguard biodiversity and increase food security in agricultural landscapes."
hat tip

Agroecology in Barcelona and other cities around the world

Vertical Farm Daily

Comparing the carbon footprints of urban and conventional agriculture
Urban ag is 6x more carbon intensive than conventional but some crops and 25% of individually managed gardens outperform conventional ag

City University of NY [CUNY] Urban Food Policy Institute

The Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2) Solar + Farms Survey, a research project on agrivoltaics, or agricultural dual-use solar. This initiative will examine the sentiments surrounding the development of agrivoltaics projects
Editorial Comment:  Plants have a light saturation point which means that they can’t do more photosynthesis with more light after they reach that point, which is about 2/3rds of the sunlight that falls on them.  You can shade a field up to about 1/3rd without reducing yields, according to what I’ve read and the Japanese, among others, have been doing it for nearly 2 decades.

Urban agriculture and climate

Fish farm paired with offshore wind turbines
Seaweed farm with offshore wind turbines

China's first innovation center for urban food production from the horticultural company AgriGarden and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science CAAS

Cooling Medellín, Colombia with trees

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

City Agriculture - January 16, 2024

 Liquid3, an urban photo-bioreactor that uses microalgae to remove CO2, produce O2, and biomass
hat tip

Farm to wetland
NB:  Not exactly “city agriculture” but I’m betting wetlands can be scaled down similarly to Miyawaki Forests

Farm to school in Washington DC
hat tip Craig Newmark

First private Miyawaki Forest in Cambridge MA (and maybe USAmerica)
To get past the pay wall:
Previously:  NYTimes on Miyawaki Forests
Editorial Comment:  My sources at Biodiversity for a Livable Climate ( report that this article brought many new members and attention to their great work.

Naturebase - a database of Natural Climate Solutions (NCS)

AppHarvest - the collapse of an indoor farming start-up in Kentucky
Editorial Comment:  This is at least the second example where approaching food production as if it were a computer start-up resulted in a crash and burn disaster. The other example I know of is CityFarm at MIT’s Media Lab which, from what I’ve read, seems to have been a complete fraud, a fraud MIT would like everyone to forget.

Netherlands’ agriculture and how they plan to be the breadbasket of the world
2017 NatGeo article:
To get past the paywall:
2021 article:

Banking winter ice in Ladakh
Editorial Comment:  This technique may also be useful in urban areas

Tree Folio NYC:  The right tree in the right place for urban forestry

Paris begins an urban forest to cover up to half the city

Dallas sees a future in urban farming
hat tip Henry Gordon-Smith

Two compendia of geotherapy:

Monday, October 2, 2023

City Agriculture - October 2, 2023

 Babylon Micro-Farms - for corporate dining, student dining, senior living communities, and event and hospitality venues now in 31 states

Local ecosystem restoration and food forestry - the transformation of one yard in San Antonio, TX

Green Shades - vegetal awnings
hat tip Alexandra Sokol

Festival of Debate 2023: Cities, farming, construction and greenspaces - series of 4 recorded webinars

City Farmer News - from Vancouver, BC, Canada with news of urban farming from everywhere

Montreal street in transition from parking to community garden

NYTimes on Miyawaki Forests
Editorial Comment:  My sources at Biodiversity for a Livable Climate ( report that this article brought many new members and attention to their great work.

Urban oases combine roof gardens and solar panels

Green corridors instead of heat islands in Medellin, Colombia

Improving photosynthesis in plants through genetics

Botanarchy - guerrilla gardening on public property
Editorial Comment:  I’ve been known to do something similar myself from time to time and enjoy the idea that the concept of “seed bombing,” preparing balls of mud full of wildflower seeds to throw into vacant lots, seems to have gone from a kitchen table conversation in late 1970s to an underground reality today

Learning from India

Saturday, July 8, 2023

City Agriculture - July 8, 2023

 Bottle Farm - growing system for windowsill hydroponics
hat tip:
Editorial Comment:  A good idea which can probably be replicated with available materials like peat pellets and liquid fertilizers.

Bt Farms is building an agri-hood, "a regenerative community plan for approximately 220 acres of farm and wetlands land in Madison, Wisconsin”

Badger Rock Middle School in Madison, WI "the state’s first charter school centered around agriculture, biodiversity and environmental studies”

Snail farming

Combining green roofs with agrivoltaics

Urban food forests

Why and how of city agriculture plans

Local microfarms

Urban pollinators

Bus shelter rooftop gardens to prevent urban flooding
hat tip to

First roof gardener in Barcelona turns 100

What you need to know about green walls

Thursday, March 16, 2023

City Agriculture - March 17, 2023

 Chinese natural restoration project

Urban Permaculture

Floating farm in Rotterdam

Editorial Comment:  Previous mentions of Rotterdam in City Agriculture
World’s first floating dairy farm in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Floating Park in Rotterdam made from recycled plastic
Editorial Comment:  The Floating Park seems to have vanished but the group behind it is still removing plastic from waterways.
Editorial Comment:  Aztecs and other South American peoples built floating gardens for hundreds of years.  They called them chinampas

A rooftop forest for Rotterdam

Rotterdam’s roofscape - greening 10 million square feet of rooftops

Dallas TX plans for urban farms
Dallas Climate Action Plan on food access

How container farms can help with climate change
hat tip Bruce Biewald

Kroger partners with Gotham Greens to supply more than 1000 stores

Japan’s agricultural decarbonization plan
Editorial Comment:  government press release

Thursday, January 19, 2023

City Agriculture - January 19, 2023

 3D printing houses with dirt, green walls and various crops built-in

Singapore skyscraper, Capita Spring, with a food forest on top and gardens throughout

Reducing energy in Controlled Environment Agriculture [CEA]
Editorial Comment:  These are the only CEA operations I know of which designed energy efficiency into their systems from the beginning:
Net zero vertical farm in Chicago
InFarm for supermarkets who want to grow their own food

CO2 to boost plant growth in rooftop farming
hat tip to Nathan Phillips

BBC on carbon farming

BBC with Corteva, an agriscience company with roots in the DuPont companies, has produced three editions of eight half hour programs and three specials since 2021

Growing wheat indoors and without soil

Cutting-edge tech made this tiny country a major exporter of food
Editorial Comment:  If you can’t get past the Washington Post paywall, copy the address into

Forest stadium for Milan, Italy (a design concept but not an actual project)

How Tunisia’s lagoon farms use saltwater from the Mediterranean Sea
hat tip to Monica Raymond

BBC asks “What if all our food was grown in indoor vertical farms?"

How to make vegetables last longer

Sunday, October 16, 2022

City Agriculture - October 16, 2022

 Salmon Wars:  The Dark Underbelly of Our Favorite Fishy Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, "a critical look at the commercial salmon farming industry which now provides 90 percent of the salmon consumed by North Americans”

CSPAN interview:

A tropical garden inside Manaus, Brazil Innovation House provides passive cooling

It’s Time to Make Cities More Rural
hat tip:  Gil Friend

NION - sustainable office building in Frankfurt am Main with gardens inside and out

Factory in Vietnam with walls of live plants

Mary Mattingly, environmental artist working on urban food systems, among other things

Edible Cities - turning parks into orchards and gardens where anyone can pick for free (not sure this will get you past the paywall but it’s worth a shot)

Here are some of the resources mentioned in the WashPost article:
Edible Town, Andernach, Germany -
Edible Cities Network -
Endless Orchard - public access fruit trees around the world -
Urban Food Forest, Atlanta, GA -
Food Forests, Philadelphia, PA -
Beacon Food Forest, Seattle, WA -
George Washington Carver Edible Park, Asheville, NC -
Bloomington, Ind Community Orchard -
Hyattsville, MD Food Forests -

Community orchards in the UK help preserve apples

This could be called planting for gleaning:
Boston Area Gleaners
Agnès Varda’s two documentaries on gleaning:
The Gleaners and I
The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later