American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010
Dmochowski, J. E.; Cooper, W. P.
“In the context of growing concerns about the international food system’s dependence on fossil fuels, soil degradation, climate change, and other diverse issues, a number of initiatives have arisen to develop and implement sustainable agricultural practices. Many seeking to reform the food system look to urban agriculture as a means to create localized, sustainable agricultural production, while simultaneously providing a locus for community building, encouraging better nutrition, and promoting the rebirth of depressed urban areas. The actual impact of such system, however, is not well understood, and many critics of urban agriculture regard its implementation as impractical and unrealistic. This project uses multispectral imagery from United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Imagery Program with a one-meter resolution to quantify the potential for increasing urban agriculture in an effort to create a sustainable food system in Philadelphia. Color infrared images are classified with a minimum distance algorithm in ArcGIS to generate baseline data on vegetative cover in Philadelphia. These data, in addition to mapping on the ground, form the basis of a model of land suitable for conversion to agriculture in Philadelphia, which will help address questions related to potential yields, workforce, and energy requirements. This research will help city planners, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and citizens understand how urban agriculture can contribute to creating a sustainable food system in a major North American city.”
(via Adena Schutzberg)