The City of Yarra envisions Yarra contributing to a sustainable city where the community grows, produces and shares food as a part of a healthy and resilient food system.
The proposed urban agriculture activities by the City of Yarra will have a number of community benefits, such as:
Education and community building
Through growing and sharing food, urban agriculture helps the community build connections, as well as helps to understand and appreciate the importance of locally grown, nutritious, healthy food.
Improving food security and equality
Increases access to local, affordable food.
Regenerating natural systems
Helps reduce food miles by promoting local growing and production of food.
Supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services
Urban agriculture systems offer an extensive, varied and undervalued resource for enhancing urban biodiversity and improving connectivity across a large landscape.
Enhancing connection to place
People have the opportunity to literally grow and shape the place around them.
Building the local economy
Local food production can support the local food economy and link producers, providers and consumers, building employment opportunities.
The City of Yarra outline a number of challenges which will impact how their policies are developed and implemented:
Because Yarra is an inner urban area, with a large rate of high density houses, many residents have limited or no outdoor space for growing food or composting, challenging the concept of local food systems for many.
The Yarra community has a high percentage of renters who are likely to have less control over how they can use gardens and space around their homes.
With high levels of population growth predicted, and limited land availability, land use competition for space in the urban environment will continue to intensify. This is particularly true for competing demands on open space networks.
To support their vision, the City have developed the following measurable objectives to support the City’s urban agriculture:
Facilitate access to space for people to grow food
• Provide access to growing space for residents through the Community Growing Spaces Program.
• Facilitate landshare within our community for the purpose of food growing.
• Work with developers to facilitate the provision of land for growing food in new developments.
• Support community groups in negotiations with landowners to facilitate long and short-term urban agriculture opportunities.
Increase food skills and knowledge through education and training
• Develop an annual program of events and activities to promote urban agriculture.
• Undertake a comprehensive program of community, business and stakeholder engagement to understand community expectations of urban agriculture.
• Promote urban agriculture in publications and on the Council website.
• Partner with local educational institutions to promote urban agriculture.
Build partnerships with other organisations and groups
• Work with community organisations to optimise funding opportunities to deliver urban agriculture.
• Work with other local governments to support and promote urban agriculture.
• Facilitate opportunities for organisations working in urban agriculture to work together.
Advocate – within and beyond council to work towards a food systems approach
• Gather available evidence to better understand urban agriculture and how it fits into the broader food system.
• Develop methods to embed urban agriculture into projects and developments within council and the City of Yarra.
• Create and protect opportunities for food growing, sharing and recycling in Yarra.
• Build and promote an understanding of food systems and their application in local government.
Link to strategy