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POLICY 65

Urban Agriculture and Food Production: Support and promote urban agriculture and local food production.

Support for food-related businesses and entrepreneurial activity can grow the local economy by connecting people to productive livelihoods and building their skills, while also increasing the availability of healthy food for communities. The farmers markets of Minneapolis are an excellent example: In 2016 they provided a commercial marketplace for an estimated $10 million to $20 million in sales for more than 800 local food vendors, as well as numerous venues throughout the city for residents to purchase fresh produce and local food products.

Economic growth is most powerful when it builds economic capacity in communities with the greatest need. Supporting food-related businesses can help build this economic capacity in a number of ways. For example, culturally specific food-related businesses can serve as an important economic entry point for new immigrant entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color.. And improving healthy food access in under-resourced communities can help children and youth have the energy and focus to learn and grow, ultimately contributing to a productive, vibrant local economy.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to support and promote urban agriculture and local food production.

  1. Identify ways to facilitate expansion of urban agriculture and distribution of fresh food in the city.
  2. Support urban agriculture innovations that improve environmental systems and health.
  3. Explore and support technical and design solutions for rooftop gardens.
  4. Expand access to resources for urban agriculture producers and distributors.
  5. Support communities’ food cultures as a community branding strategy.
  6. Consider providing business finance and technical assistance to new urban agriculture endeavors.
  7. Explore zoning modifications that support tools, structures and processes used in urban agriculture and local food production, such as greenhouses, infrastructure for extending growing seasons, and on-site processing of products.
  8. Continue support for existing community gardens and urban agriculture, while prioritizing an appropriate balance between community gardens and land redevelopment, especially in underserved areas.
  9. Support soil testing and remediation to ensure healthy soil for gardens and farms.
  10. Promote best management practices for the development and maintenance of pollinator-friendly landscapes.
  11. Support leasing and explore selling City-owned land to community and market gardens.
  12. Explore agricultural easements to preserve agricultural space in the city.
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