U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,207 times
Reputation: 217

Advertisements

Urban Agrarianism : Are Americans ready for it?

This new thread arises from a posting on the Detroit Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieMirsade View Post
The new industry doesn't need so many workers. It needs a few skilled technicians, and a couple of brainers, innovators, managers, and that's that.
To make it worse, these well paid guys don't wanna pay high taxes. So what's the rest of the population supposed to do? Rob and steal? They have to do something with themselves.
Grow food, in communities-organised-around-agriculture, I suppose.
And live locally, organised around a Main Street, or village center, as we did in times gone by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieMirsade View Post
As a "downtowner", city dweller, I have to tell you that unless you have tons of money, your choices and options in the city are pretty slim. Lose your job, and unless you have tons of savings, you're out on the street.
We're entering another AGE. Post-industrial, and we don't even know yet, what it'll look like, until we implement the new technologies, and until we see where China's going during the next couple of decades.

And no, I'm not at all for the replication of the Chinese city-state model in the US.
Americans are too individualistic, self-centered, independent, sometimes even asocial, and selfish, for that model to be applicable in the US.
There's some truth to what you say. But are Americans really that different from Brits or Europeans?
There are cultural differences - car use, gun owning - that have been reinforced by the American living arrangement. But if you listen to me, and also to writers like JH Kunstler, we are moving into a period (The Long Emergency?) where we will once again be more reliant on neighbors, and a sense of community may re-emerge.

As for China, we should be less arrogant, and be more willing to learn from other countries, including China. They are building a transport system for the 21st century, and we are still mired in one built for the 1950's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieMirsade View Post
It is exactly because they lived in the big city, and stayed as the economy crumbled and jobs disappeared, that Detroit's working poor became a dysfunctional underclass. At least while they worked the fields down South, they had a lifestyle which kept them busy and out of trouble.
The natural environment empowered them, gave them some purpose, some ownership of their own destiny, whereas in the city, once the jobs disappear, unless you have money, you are a nobody.
You become dependent on the "system" for survival. Even just to eat.
I am very happy to see many Detroiters embracing urban farming:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9HVOtNN8Uc

There may be some long term answers in this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieMirsade View Post
That's why I am convinced that in the 21st century, education-knowledge, access to land and water will be keys to survival.

On top of all that, there is still too much ethnic-racial animosity, on all sides.
There is no way that some all Americans will accept to share a densely populated environment with people that are "too different", ie. wrong class, or wrong race. The Chinese are about persistence, hard work, and incredible sacrifices for the sake of the common good and family honour.
We're all about "me, me, me, and mine".
Even when all data and statistics SHOW and PROVE that socialized medicine costs less per capita, Americans swear that they have a better system, and that they're healthier than the Swedes, French and Canadians. Clearly, indoctrination trumps rational thinking.
Economic depression is bringing about a change in the culture - slow though it may be.

Look to the new denser communities that are emerging.
And take a look at the new Urban Agrarian trend

Book Review :
Agrarian Urbanism - Andres Duany

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UPSl9NQyXI

There are many American visionaries point the way. I am just one of the very smallest ones (though I am over 6-feet tall.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,207 times
Reputation: 217
They are thinking about it, even in the Bronx - as this video shows:


Grand Concourse Agricultural Urbanism Animation.wmv - YouTube

Agricultural Urbanism animation entry by AECOM for the Intersections: Beyond 100 Grand Concourse competition put on by the Design Trust for Public Space and the Bronx Museum.

This just one small location. but it points towards what is possible.

The real masters are the Cubans, who survived on Urban Farming when the Soviets stopped shipping them cheap oil:

Urban Food Growing in Havana, Cuba - YouTube

They learned from Permaculturalist from New Zealand
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,364 posts, read 59,796,813 times
Reputation: 54006
Urban farming has been around for quite some time. Why wouldn't anyone be "ready" for it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,759,792 times
Reputation: 1616
Well it makes sense to put vacant land to productive use, and I guess agriculture would be one way of doing that, but most urban environments aren't going to be self-sustaining. Even growing enough for yourself wouldn't be enough (unless you have a family member with a paying job) since you need a surplus of food to sell for money to buy other goods including tools and resources needed for farming. And for that to happen, you would need fairly large farms, probably bigger than what there's space for in most cities.

Either the nearly deserted Prairies will get repopulated and divided up into smaller farms to be worked by today's city dwellers, or most urban families will have at least one member of the household with a "city" job.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,207 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Urban farming has been around for quite some time. Why wouldn't anyone be "ready" for it?
Have you seen the video (above) with the lecture by Andres Duany?


theory


practice? : more photos

He is talking about building new communities with a Barn / City Hall right at the heart of it.

Meantime, James Howard Kunstler talks about how, during The Long Emergency, the communities that survive and thrive, will be those with "a meaningful relationship with agriculture."

Cars, highways, and long commutes may become a thing of the past, when the Dollar slides, and oil prices starting shooting up "towards the Moon."

"Gardening is the new Golf", don't you know?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 09:15 PM
 
5,682 posts, read 8,752,084 times
Reputation: 4911
Back and even front yard gardens are becoming more prevalent. Vegetables are easily grown "by hand".

Grains and dried beans are more efficiently grown on larger farms. Storage isn't an issue. Also it is more effecient to freeze & can vegetables at a factory level.

I think it is sad when a city like Detroit declines to such a point that tractor scale agriculture is considered a viable option. Such a waste of housing when so many in this country are homeless.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 09:43 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 23,408,176 times
Reputation: 6702
Yes, I think the country is ready for it. While there's always been some of this to some extent, there's been a renewal of interest in recent years, and one thing that does, I think, perhaps suggest that this might be a more permanent change (in some shape or form, anyway) is that so many local governments have also become involved. Look at all the cities and suburbs that now allow chickens, for example. Urban interest in farmers markets and CSAs has been steadily growing over the years, community gardens have been around for decades and seem to be getting more buzz lately, and there are certainly plenty of young people out there these days who want to carve a life and career out of urban agriculture. I even subscribe to "Urban Farm" magazine! Granted, things might not always continue along at this rate, but with so much municipal support (and lots of foundation money available) I think it will have greater lasting power. After all, there has always been some growing of food in the city and the basic concept isn't new.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,207 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Back and even front yard gardens are becoming more prevalent. Vegetables are easily grown "by hand".

Grains and dried beans are more efficiently grown on larger farms. Storage isn't an issue. Also it is more effecient to freeze & can vegetables at a factory level.

I think it is sad when a city like Detroit declines to such a point that tractor scale agriculture is considered a viable option. Such a waste of housing when so many in this country are homeless.
Are you growing some of your own food, CS?
If so, what percentage of a family's food consumption, do you reckon can be grown at home?

Also, what do you think of zoning or HOA regulations which may prevent you from growing food, and force you to grow a lawn requiring water, cutting, and fertilizer. Some huge percentage of suburbnite's time can go into tending this expensive luxury.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2013, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,207 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Urban interest in farmers markets and CSAs has been steadily growing over the years, community gardens have been around for decades and seem to be getting more buzz lately, and there are certainly plenty of young people out there these days who want to carve a life and career out of urban agriculture.
I even subscribe to "Urban Farm" magazine!
Are there viable Farmers Markets near where you live?
If so, maybe you can say where that is.


Here in Hong Kong, we have "wet markets" which combine fresh vegetables and butchers areas.
They are throughout the city and a great alternative to supermarkets. But the vegetables probably travel a long way to get there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-24-2013, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,662 posts, read 18,852,256 times
Reputation: 8542
I saw a statistic somewhere that during WWII, "Victory Gardens" supplied about 40% of the vegetables in the nation. Cuba is doing a huge urban farming since their economy went in the toilet several years ago. On a local level, we are doing about 20% of our vegetables and about 80% of our fruits from the yard and it is a small town lot. There is a raised bed vegetable garden in the front yard and three hens and some rabbits in the back yard. There were mature fruit trees here when we bought the house several years ago, though, so I can't really claim credit for those. The young couple several houses over are now gardening since they have visited the gardens here, so one garden at a time, we can take our country's food supply into our own hands.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top