Transforming Vacant Land into Sites of Food Production

Project Summary

Urban gardening and farming increase access to food production, which is a basic principle of food sovereignty. Syracuse currently has 29 active community gardens and urban farms and the Greater Syracuse Landbank has approximately 85 vacant lots available for urban gardening, providing opportunity to expand community gardening and urban agriculture as shown on the map below. SCG interns mapped and assessed vacant lots for their viability as sites of community gardening. Viability depended on lot size, sun exposure, slope, water access, and proximity to other community resources such as refugee resettlement assistance organizations. 

Vacant lots provide much needed opportunity for expansion of community gardening and urban farming in Syracuse, NY. Expanded access to community gardening facilitates an expansion of food sovereignty. The ability to grow one’s own food affords urban farmers the ability to make their own decisions about what they grow and what they eat, and increases access to fresh, culturally appropriate, and healthy foods. Additionally, farming and gardening are important cultural practices for New Americans.