City of Hamilton embracing urban agriculture | News
HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - The City of Hamilton, Ohio is again illustrating its leadership in creating a more sustainable city.
New legislation that promotes and encourages urban agriculture in the City of Hamilton was approved by the Planning Commission this past Tuesday, and will go to City Council in June.
The new urban agriculture amendments establish rules for local neighborhood farming. The urban agricultural policy was driven by residents and nonprofits seeking clarity and promotion of urban agriculture within the City.
Hamilton is a part of a growing number of cities seeking to embrace the local urban agriculture movement through proactive policies, which again shows the commitment by community and city leaders to drive "green" strategic initiatives.
The effort is motivated by a goal for all citizens to have easy, affordable access to fresh, healthy foods.
The adoption of these recommendations and guidelines are the first critical steps in helping the community achieve that goal, according to the proposal. City staff outlined the benefits of urban agriculture that include health, social, economic, and ecological. Additionally, the City hopes to become a model for the productive reuse of underutilized land assets as a method to reconnect residents to their food source, while revitalizing the community.
"The Planning Commission has taken an important first step in making urban agriculture a thriving enterprise in the City of Hamilton" said Alfred Hall, Director of Hamilton Urban Garden Systems (HUGS).
Similarly, the City of Hamilton recognizes the potential of urban farming to bring people together and increase neighborhood collaboration. In areas void of readily available produce or "food deserts," urban agriculture improves access to affordable, fresh, healthy food. And, as in many cities throughout the country, neighborhood farming can be an effective tool for engaging the youth.
"The City of Hamilton is already on the cutting-edge of providing carbon-free energy and alternative fuels - policies like urban agriculture, complete streets, and form-based codes compliment our green assets while promoting healthier lifestyles and more vibrant neighborhoods" said Chris Lawson, from the City Manager's Office.