I am starting research towards a Senior Honors Thesis about urban agriculture. The paper will be in 3 parts: background, present, and future.  In the background section, I will discuss the development of cities' distance from food production and the problems with the current agricultural industry, how it is unsustainable, will not provide for future world populations, and access issues.  In the present section, I will use Boston as a case study of current efforts and patterns (I am planning on contacting Jen Obadia and Boston Natural Areas Network for more information). I hope to work with the established maps of community gardens in the Boston area in order to offer a guide for the future of urban agriculture in Boston (space for more community gardens, rooftops). I don't know if this is beyond what I can be capable of this semester. I also need to research roof sovereignty issues, or how to go about determining if a roof (and the building underneath, and the owner of the building)would be able to support a garden.

Spatially, this means I will be including maps of community gardens, demographics, land use, grocery stores, and population densities in Boston. I am also considering using maps of the US as a whole when illustrating the agriculture system, perhaps land use, crops, food distribution centers, and distances that food travels.


Steve, Suppan. Challenges for Food Sovereignty. 2008
GIS Best Practices: US Department of Agriculture. August 2006. (www.esri.com/agriculture)
Brown, Katherine H. et al. Urban Agriculture and Community Food Security in the United States: Farming from the City Center to the Urban Fringe. Urban Agriculture Committee of the Community Food Security Coalition. February 2002.