Urban farm Brooklyn Grange. Photo credit: nycfoodpolicy.org

The city has launched NYC Urban Agriculture, a new online portal to inform businesses, property owners and the public at large about agriculture. The online hub was initiated through a bill sponsored by Councilmember Rafael Espinal and supported by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

“Urban agriculture offers countless benefits to our communities. It can provide access to affordable, healthy food, create jobs, and improve our environment,” said Councilmember Espinal. “Yet, for too long, our urban farmers have had to navigate a complex web of outdated regulations and zoning codes. The launch of this new website will give our valued urban farmers the resources and information they need to grow their footprint in the city, and bring fresh life to our communities.”

Photo credit: Office of Councilmember Rafael Espinal

In 2017, City Council passed the bill to develop an urban agriculture website to promote the expansion of urban agriculture in the city. The portal, created by the Department of City Planning, NYC Parks’ GreenThumb and Small Business Services, now serves as a one-stop shop for all information relating to urban agriculture for community gardeners and urban farmers.

Agriculture has deep roots in New York City, and a wide range of agricultural uses continue to make the city a more sustainable, livable and equitable place. Such agricultural uses include personal gardening, community gardening, commercial farming, indoor farming such as hydroponics and aquaponics and rooftop greenhouses. The website is a resource to learn about the different initiatives and programs related to urban gardening and farming, as well as rules and regulations that pertain to urban agriculture in NYC.

“We have the potential to transform the way our city grows its own food, tackles inequities in access to fresh food while protecting our environment and ecosystem,” said Borough President Adams. “This is only the first step in the process to harness the full potential of urban agriculture and ensure we will be able to build a greener and more sustainable city that enhances the health and quality of life of all of our residents.”

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