Urban Agriculture should be considered an important city planning issue. Let's consider one type of Urban Agriculture -- community gardens. Community gardens are often located on public land, and they can improve cities in a number of ways.
Urban planners directly affect public land use. So they often play a role in whether or not community gardens are established. But typically, urban planners have paid less attentions to community gardens than they have to other development issues, such as economic development, transportation, the environment, and housing.
Well, maybe because they believe these other issues are more important. Whatever the reasons are, one thing stands out -- many city dwellers are eager to enjoy the benefits of community gardening. Now creating community gardens might involve zoning changes. It might involve negotiating with developers, or working with politicians to suggest policies that encourage Urban Agriculture. These are just some of the ways urban planners can get involved.
But why should they get involved?
Well, farm land in the United States has been lost at an alarming rate, and this impacts the availability of healthy food to local and regional markets. So access to healthy affordable food can be a problem.
Nearby gardens also add property value to neighborhoods, because people are excited about them. They want to be able to garden even in the city. So there is the economic factor again.
And then, there is the sense of community. People in small towns tend to know each other. They spend time together. They encounter the same people at the grocery stores and the play grounds. Urban agriculture can help bring that sense of community to areas where people might not otherwise know each other.
For all these reasons, urban planners need to identify suitable public places for community gardens, and allot space for them.
2012-11-13 00:16:22 補充：
The professor claims that community gardens make healthy food available and affordable, add property value to neighborhoods, and help bring the sense of community.