UA Magazine no. 11 - Availability, Access and Usability of Land for Urban Agriculture

Dear Readers

This issues of the UA Magazine, is a compilation of several articles and papers presented at the Electronic Conference, which was held from 3 - 26 of November 2003. 

Land is an important resource for urban agriculture. Urban farming requires some land space, irrespective of whether the farming system is soil-based or not. Therefore land is and will remain a resource of particular concern to urban farmers. But land, or rather the adequate use of the land, is of increasing concern to planners and municipal policymakers who have to consider the various demands on the land and its functions in and around the city. Availability refers to the existence of land that can be utilised for urban agriculture, in the short-, medium- or long-term. Accessibility refers the opportunity for actual use of available land by needy households or groups, taking into account administrative procedures and conflict resolution mechanisms. The Usability of the land for urban agriculture is a function of topography, soil texture and fertility, moisture and other environmental qualities. Most of the cases presented in this issue provide suggestions that could be useful in drawing up successful programmes in urban agriculture. They emphasise the importance of innovative approaches and techniques that facilitate integration of urban agriculture into the city landscape as a permanent feature, thereby ensuring adequate access to land and other resources for the urban poor. Land banks, multi-stake holder participatory urban planning and long-term leasing arrangements are examples of innovative approaches that are already being tried out with success.

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