Feeding the City Series

The Green Changemakers

Profiles of what is happening in New Orleans, Baltimore, Detroit, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Seattle will be highlighted. Only recently did cars and trains replace horses—and garden-friendly horse poop—a switch that made possible the long-distance supply chain of big-farms-to-big-supermarkets that’s the foundation of the modern American urban food system. Not since the Victory Garden movement of World War II has America seen such an explosion of urban food-growing.

Livable Communities

The Green Changemakers

All of these make for cities that manifest the strength and brilliance of the human garden. There are 90,000 vacant properties in Detroit, 60,000 in Philadelphia. In recent years, though, cities like Richmond, Flint, and Philadelphia have launched ambitious initiatives to reclaim vacant properties. When I was growing up in the 1940s in Philadelphia, much of our food came from nearby farms.