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The Business Case for Urban Agriculture

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Five years ago, the world of commercial urban agriculture was nearly barren in Chicago. Not for a lack of need; large populations in the city live in food deserts without access to fresh food and the food that is available is mostly shipped over thousands of miles, racking up huge carbon debts.

But much has changed over the last few years. Chicago amended the Zoning Ordinance in 2011 to include more urban agriculture, drawing a distinction between urban farms and community gardens. The ordinance also sorted different uses into three categories—indoor, outdoor and rooftop—and allowed them in commercially oriented districts. The stormwater management ordinance was later amended, which has huge impacts on agricultural operations, and regulations around composting were relaxed.
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That Land’s Not Vacant, it’s Fallow: Creating More Community Gardens in Chicago’s Food Deserts

March 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Linda Seggelke

New_crops-Chicago_urban_farmFood deserts—areas where access to groceries and fresh food has been replaced by convenience stores and fast food restaurants—have plagued Chicago for years, particularly in the west and south neighborhoods. A recent report has shown that these areas are shrinking, with the number of Chicagoans living in a food desert reduced by 40% over the last five years.
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New Ordinance Encourages More Urban Farming

September 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jon Sedey

A new zoning code, approved at the last council meeting, will promote the expansion of community gardening and urban agriculture within the city boundaries.

The amendment, first introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in July, recognizes urban farming and allows citizens or companies to apply for building permits and zoning approvals to help establish foundations in the urban agriculture sector. The ordinance legalizes urban farming of vegetables, fruits and fish and will permit owners to sell what they raise.
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For the Uncommon Good

June 9, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Julie Henning

Celebrating its twentieth anniversary, Uncommon Ground is a vanguard among restaurants seeking to feed Chicagoans seasonably, locally and sustainably.

The greenest restaurant in the city of Chicago, third-party certified by the Green Restaurant Association, Uncommon Ground has been a neighborhood favorite café, bar and restaurant for twenty years. Expanding from the flagship location in Wrigleyville, owners Helen and Michael Cameron opened a second location in Edgewater in 2007.
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