Boston Urban Agriculture Strategy
GrowBoston, the City of Boston’s Office of Urban Agriculture, seeks to strengthen its efforts to tackle food insecurity and climate resiliency by promoting and expanding urban agriculture. Expansion is focused on the neighborhoods of Boston with the highest rates of food insecurity and other social vulnerabilities (Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and East Boston).
Through a $200,000 planning grant provided by the USDA, GrowBoston is developing a citywide strategy in partnership with community stakeholders, producers, and city agencies. The strategy will guide GrowBoston’s investment in and expansion of local food production through both traditional and innovative urban agriculture. Innovative urban agriculture includes rooftop farms, vertical production, hydroponics, and indoor farms.
GrowBoston is collaborating with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), a leader in Massachusetts food system planning and policy, and the Urban Farming Institute (UFI), an organization dedicated to cultivating urban farming spaces and healthy communities.
Throughout 2023, MAPC is leading a community engagement effort with local stakeholders in each of the four neighborhoods, and a separate engagement process with City agencies. This effort involves a series of meetings, events, and interviews with stakeholders.
The result will be a list of neighborhood priorities for increased food production and recommendations for the City of Boston. MAPC will recommend how GrowBoston, other City departments, and community partners can refine their practices, policies, and coordination to make it easier to grow food in Boston.
In December, UFI will gather a group of food producers that will recommend long-term strategies for increased citywide food production.