Yes. Urban agriculture is loosely defined as the production, distribution, and marketing of food and other products within the geographical limits of a metropolitan area. This includes community and school gardens, backyard and rooftop plots, and non-traditional methods of caring for plants and animals within a constrained area. Some definitions also include farms that supply to urban farmers markets, community supported agriculture, or farms located within metropolitan green belts. Zoning is a critical issue in urban agriculture. Zoning dictates what growing is allowed and whether animal farming is permitted. Most cities have strong restrictions on raising animals for production purposes, so most urban farming involves gardening.
Key Types of Urban Farms
- Institutional Farms and Gardens – Typically linked with an institution (such as hospitals, churches, prisons, schools, public housing) whose primary mission is not large-scale food production, but instead to provide health, educational, and lifestyle opportunities.
- Community Gardens – Usually located on publicly-owned land or land trusts and managed by local resident volunteers. Community gardens mostly grow food, but some also grow flowers. Some community gardens provide space for community gatherings and events.
- Community Farms – Communal growing spaces operated by a nonprofit organization that engages the surrounding community in food production as well as social and educational programming.
- Commercial Farms – Some for-profit farms exist in urban areas, although they tend to be small and often produce niche products. Some small urban commercial farms focus on non-traditional growing techniques like vertical or soilless farming.