Growing Edible Cities and Towns
A Survey of the Victorian Urban Agriculture Sector
Despite the diverse benefits of urban agriculture, there is limited research into urban agriculture as a sector in Victoria. This report presents findings from a survey of urban agriculture practitioners in Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong. The findings include the sector’s composition, activities, market channels, challenges, needs and aspirations, as well as opportunities for sector support and growth. The report also proposes a roadmap for addressing critical challenges that face the sector and for building on the strength of its social and environmental commitments.
These findings and recommendations are of relevance to policymakers at all levels of government, especially as food security, climate change, human and ecological health and urban sustainability emerge as key interconnected priorities in this challenging decade.
In 2032, Melbourne and Victoria’s other regional cities and towns are global leaders in urban agriculture. Rooftop farms, edible median strips, neighbourhood farms and community/ school gardens supply cities and suburbs with fresh, healthy food. These pockets of edible greenery cool the city, capture stormwater runoff and provide biodiverse habitat. They are lively spaces for cultural and intergenerational exchange.
Urban agriculture provides places for Aboriginal communities to connect to Country in the city and celebrate stories of belonging, both old and new. The cultural authority of First Nations' peoples guides the governance and design of edible landscapes.
Young people are excited by the possibility of a career in agriculture and have clear pathways to pursue this goal. All Victorians have access to spaces for growing food, should they wish, and can find urban food in their local businesses and communities.
Neighbourhoods across Victoria are vibrant, convivial and inclusive because the principle of good food for all guides their planning and development. Thanks to a thriving local food system, Victorians enjoy better health and wellbeing than ever.