Geospatial Evaluation for Urban Agriculture Land Inventory: Roanoke, Virginia USA

Geospatial Evaluation for Urban Agriculture Land Inventory: Roanoke, Virginia USA

Tammy E. Parece (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO, USA) and James B. Campbell (Department of Geography, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/IJAGR.2017010103
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Abstract

Urban agriculture is recently being recognized as a distinctive urban land use contributing to greenspaces and food security. The land inventory forms the critical first step in identifying sites for urban agriculture. The authors' analysis greatly expands on prior land inventory strategies, first analyzing land cover to identify all open areas available for siting urban agriculture. Then in GIS, the authors completed a land use suitability analysis, and finally a demographic analysis to assess potential sites for contribution to food security of lower income populations. Results show that Roanoke includes 2,312 hectares suitable for schoolyard gardens, urban farms, community gardens, orchards, and home gardens, of which 189.4 hectares are found in neighborhoods with extremely high rates of poverty. The authors' inventory strategy can be implemented elsewhere without special data or software. A detailed inventory offers opportunities for long-range planning, and broadening participation of stakeholders.
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Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture is the production of agricultural products (for food, fuel, and other uses) and rearing of livestock in urban and peri-urban areas (Mougeot, 2000). It is not a new phenomenon; people began producing agricultural products within urban areas when first establishing them thousands of years ago (van Leeuwen, Nijkamp, & de Noronha Vaz, 2010). In the United States, its history exceeds 100 years (Lawson, 2005), intensifying during periods of national crisis, such as both World Wars and the Great Depression (Deelstra & Girardet, 2000; Iaquinta & Drescher, 2010).

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