Urban Farming and the Future of Garden Cities

In 1898 Ebenezer Howard, an English town planner, devised the idea of a Garden City. This city would be self-sufficient and have a much higher quality of life than others. His idea was that communities could be built with agricultural land integrated within them allowing for the residents to have ready access to food as well as promoting an increased land value, contributing to the general welfare of the town. 

Fast forward to 2022, The City of Toronto is one of the largest cities in North America, and is home to several community gardens and urban farming companies and programs. These gardens and companies provide fresh food to communities that lack access to fresh produce. These gardens and farms also help reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the city, providing a greener living experience for everyone who lives there. Farms like the Zawadi Farm, one of the many such urban farming companies in Toronto, provide food to their communities that lack access to fresh produce, and in some cases, are far away from grocery stores. Jessey Njau, the founder of Zawadi Farm, also pioneered several initiatives to help those who cannot afford to purchase fresh produce by planting more than he needs to fill his members orders. This act of goodwill strengthens the community in the area and shows us that not all of the benefits from Urban Farming are blatantly obvious. The Growth of Urban Farming in Toronto has led to the city gaining a sort of self-sufficiency. By producing their own food the city becomes less reliant on imports from other places in Canada, and can support themselves effectively whilst bringing up the land value, cleaning the environment, providing good food to people who would otherwise not have ready access to it, and by indirectly strengthening the community. 

Towards the future it seems that Toronto and many other cities will be heading towards the trend of promoting more and more urban farmers. While cities like Toronto and Singapore already have a plethora of community gardens and urban farms, other cities are beginning to see the appeal. From the trends we can see in places like Toronto, it appears that the future of modern cities will be intertwined with urban farming practices.

Written by Aidan B. (Grade 12 Student for his HFA4U Culminating)