a project of the sustainable economies law center

Sunset Community Garden Pano

At Sustainable Economies Law Center (the Law Center), we want nothing more than to see the number of new urban agriculture projects and enterprises explode all across the country! To facilitate the growth of the urban agriculture movement, we offer this website as a collection of resources on laws and regulations that regulate who, how, and where urban agriculture can occur. As a collaborative effort, the content on UrbanAgLaw.org is created by a group of legal professionals and law students, and the site is curated by the Law Center.

Also, check out these handy guides we’ve created for people interested in starting new worker-owned enterprises and food justice enterprises!

  • Legislation hopes to bolster urban farming, but challenges remain
    Lance Kraai (pictured above) operates the 3-acre New City Farm on Grand Rapids’ northeast side and believes urban farms are best suited to drive social change rather than profits. Photo by Katy Batdorff. “You can read books on urban agriculture, and it’s like, ‘You can make $100,000 on an acre.’ I’m... Read more »
  • Farming on the Fringe
    Peri-Urban Agriculture, Cultural Diversity and Sustainability in Sydney Dr Sarah James Visiting Fellow School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) College of Asia and the Pacific The Australian National University Springer Publication 2016 This volume offers a new perspective to debates on local food and urban sustainability presenting the long silenced voices of the small-scale farmers from... Read more »
  • Detroit Urban farms flourish, but neighbors feel growing pains
    The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative received funding from Mercedes Benz Financial Services, which volunteer Mary Hughes is from, to help plant 200 fruit— apple, pear, plum and cherry — trees on vacant land. (Photo: Jose Juarez / Special to The Detroit News) “It’s not something we want to deal with in the... Read more »
  • Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016
    1978 – City Farmer Society’s logo. Vancouver BC, Canada. Almost 40 years ago, non-profit City Farmer created ‘Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture’ By Micheal Levenston City Farmer Society Oct 23, 2016 City Farmer created its unofficial, non-profit ‘Office’ in 1978 and has run it for almost 40 years to promote the concept of producing food... Read more »
  • The urban farms that grow half of the vegetables eaten in Cape Town, South Africa
    The Philippi Horticultural Area is a 20-minute drive from the city centre and supplies half of Cape Town’s vegetables A densely populated area in Cape Town, the Cape Flats is home to townships, informal settlements and century-old neighourhoods. By Helen Sullivan How We Made It In Africa 12 October 2016 Excerpt: These days the PHA farmers... Read more »
  • Mahindra to give $75,000 to Detroit nonprofit urban farms
    The Mahindra Group, headquartered in Mumbai, India, is a major producer of tractors, utility vehicles, information technology and financial services. By Marti Benedetti Crain’s Detroit Business Oct 12, 2016 Excerpt: The 2016 Mahindra Urban Agriculture Grant recipients and the programs are: Capuchin Soup Kitchen – Earthworks Urban Farm Agriculture Training Program ($12,500): to support a nine-month... Read more »
  • Research Job in UK: ‘The spread of urban agriculture and urban greening’ University of East Anglia
    Photo by Andrew Pym. This project will investigate the diffusion of urban agriculture and urban greening through cities, and the impact this has on urban ecosystem services. Relevant ecosystem services include recreation, air quality, and moderation of temperature extremes. Supervisor: Dr Charlie Wilson Start Date: October 2017 Funding amount: £14,296 Excerpt: Activities Specific research activities include: compiling time... Read more »
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of USDA guaranteed loans for smaller scale farms and urban producers
    Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. The program, called EZ Guarantee Loans, uses a simplified application process to help beginning, small, underserved and family farmers and ranchers apply for loans of up to $100,000 from USDA-approved lenders to purchase farmland or finance agricultural operations. By Gary Truitt Hosier Ag Today Oct 20, 2016 Excerpt: “Over the past seven years,... Read more »
  • Urban allotment gardens in the eighteenth century: the case of Sheffield, UK
    Central part of Ralph Gosling’s Plan of Sheffield 1736 showing urban gardens. Click on image for larger file. “In the town of Sheffield in Yorkshire where a great iron manufacture is carried on, there is hardly a journeyman cutler who does not possess a piece of ground which he cultivates... Read more »
  • Stories Behind the Roman Artichoke
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkZfNgR127A?list=PL62725613E8A36F50&w=425&h=341] Gustolab Institute – Food & Media Course – Spring 2015 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Three accounts of the trajectory of one of Rome’s most celebrated vegetables, as it travels from a field to a market and then to a restaurant. The farmer, the merchant, and the chef share... Read more »