Sunday, January 20, 2013

Google spies.... urban agriculture

North DeKalb Mall Employe Community Garden: pre-garden [GoogleMaps] and currently [GoogleEarth, image dated Oct. 31, 2012]. Click to enlarge.
Atlantic Cities has a report on how urban planners at the University of Illinois used Google satellite images to map the true extent of urban agriculture in Chicago. While surveys completed by individuals and non-profits estimated around 700 urban food gardens, Google's eye in the sky told a story of 4,400+ thriving food gardens.
"There is often this idea that urban agriculture is something that’s new and sometimes perceived to be trendy," Taylor says. "But of course it’s just been going on for generations in people’s backyards and in these interstitial spaces, like right-of-ways and vacant lots. Across the city, there are lots of folks who are doing this on their own, or with support from their neighbors."
Might aerial views of our area tell a similar story?

If you are interested in urban gardening, from growing fruits and vegetables to keeping bees and poultry, stay tuned to the coming legislative session. Concerned citizens have been working to strengthen Georgia law to ensure that local governments (cities, and counties such as our own) cannot pre-empt our right to grow food. For more information, visit the Georgia Food Rights website and join their Facebook group. The proposed Sustainable Food Act is supported by Georgia Organics and the Wylde Center, among others.

For a reflection on the inherent inconsistency of laws affecting unincorporated DeKalb, see this item on Southern Spaces.