Urban Agriculture Notes

City Farmer: Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture

(with special reference to Africa)


3.4 City Farming on Global Agendas of Local Authorities

by Luc J.A. Mougeot
© Copyright 1994
International Development Research Centre

Not surprisingly, international congresses of city governments are now paying much greater attention to the role of UA in urban development than reported until recently. For instance, the International Union of Local Authorities had panels addressing city farming at their 31st World Congress in Toronto in June 1993. In June 1994, the Global Forum 94 in Manchester convened 50 city delegations from the North and the South; it conducted an Advisory Workshop on Urban Agriculture where delegates representing 25 of the 50 cities invited acknowledged UA and qualified its impact as positive. Almost all questionnaire respondents at the workshop said there is UA both within and at the edge of their home city; a little more than two thirds said it is done by households, with a third adding that entrepreneurs and institutions are also engaged in UA; only a quarter said UA causes some problems but two thirds said their city benefits from it. A third said UA was regulated in some way in their city, with only about a quarter knowing of any support programs or research underway in their city on UA. In August 1994, in a Declaration on Social Development and Sustainable Human Settlements issued at the International Colloquium of Mayors on Social Development at the U.N. in New York, over 100 mayors from around the world invited the various sectors of society to join them in six categories of actions for the sustainable social development of their cities. The category at the top of the list reads:

"Reducing urban poverty by providing productive employment for the poor and the jobless in the private and public sectors, promoting urban agriculture and supporting micro-enterprise development through credit and training, particularly the informal sector;" (ICMSD, 1994: 10).

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revised, June 12,1995

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