Allow urban farming

Minneapolis should accept a proposal to bring the farm to the city.

Daily Editorial Board

Minneapolis City Councilman Cam Gordon wants to bring the farm to a neighborhood near you. A proposed change to the cityâÄôs zoning code, which the Minnesota Daily recently reported, would allow urban farmers and gardeners to sell what they grow right here in the city. As urban farms have sprung up across the U.S., local zoning codes have sorely lagged with this growing industry. GordonâÄôs idea is a step in the right direction.
While redefining the term âÄúlocally grown,âÄù this proposal would also open the door for small business growth and allow Minneapolis consumers greater choice at the dinner table. In terms of city policy, it is a win-win.
Zoning codes of the past restricted urban farming due to sanitary concerns, but modern methods and technology have proven those concerns outdated. As such, urban growers deserve the opportunity to expand entrepreneurship and help growing urban communities attain a healthier lifestyle.
A report from the American Planning Association published in March of last year highlights the many positives of urban farming. Citing cities like Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and even Minneapolis, the report offers numerous advantages that come with the modern urban farming movement. Among these are economic growth, community health and wellness, the reclamation of vacant or polluted property and the strengthening of community-focused groups. At a time when urban population growth is on the rise and demand for locally sourced, healthy food options continues, promotion of urban farming can help tackle problems from unemployment to childhood obesity.