A Growing Opportunity
Urban agriculture takes root in empty lots and abandoned spaces
The Ottawa Citizen Sunday,
June 18, 2006
Argentina's 2001 meltdown hit the city of Rosario hard. Fully 800,000 of its 1.2 million residents were plunged into poverty because of widespread unemployment caused by the economic crash.
To cope, the city, located about 300 kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires, turned to a seemingly quixotic strategy -- urban agriculture.
It turned over public land, offered tax breaks to owners of vacant lots who agreed to let poor residents grow organic produce on their property, and began to supply tools, seeds and other supplies.
Before long, more than 800 community gardens had sprung up, supporting 10,000 farmers and their families. What they didn't need for themselves, they could sell in one of seven new farmer's markets established by the city. Read on...