• Who We Are

    City Parks Blog is a joint effort of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land and the City Parks Alliance to chronicle the news and issues of the urban park movement. Read more about us.
  • Urban Park Issues

  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new City Parks Blog posts by email.

  • Archives

  • Urban Green Cover Ad

Philadelphia: Improving Access to Gardens & Markets

Map showing farmers markets, community garden access. Green Works Philadelphia

Map showing farmers markets, community garden access. Green Works Philadelphia

With the community gardening movement experiencing increasing popularity, some cities are undertaking innovative efforts to expand access to these facilities. In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter directed the creation of a strategic plan called Green Works. One of the plan’s key goals is to “bring local food within 10 minutes [walk] of 75 percent of residents.

To accomplish this, the city, with the help of the Philadelphia Horticulture Society has mapped out the existing gardens and their proximity to residents. The maps allows the city to target programs to create new gardens and markets in underserved areas, perhaps concentrating first on higher population density areas or those without other access to fresh food.

Using this information the, Green Works makes the following statement and goals:

Today Philadelphia enjoys 30 outdoor seasonal farmers’ markets, which provide a place for people to gather and purchase agricultural products from the region. An additional 200 food-producing gardens combine to make access to fresh food convenient for even more city residents. And no discussion of access to fresh food would be complete without a nod to Philadelphia’s crown jewel—the Reading Terminal Market. In addition to its being a leading tourist destination, Reading Terminal Market is the leading redeemer of food stamps and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers in the state. Yet, as the map [see right] indicates, many city neighborhoods still lack access to locally grown fresh food. To increase this access citywide, Greenworks Philadelphia calls for the creation of 59 food-producing gardens, 12 farms and 15 farmers’ markets in Philadelphia.

This is only one component of Philadelphia’s efforts in this area, but it is one of the most important. As the old business-success-model saying goes, its all about location, location, location.

2 Responses

  1. This makes great sense for cities that are looking to promote urban gardens and farmers markets. These things can be great moves towards sustainability and social interaction, but require steps like the ones being taken in Philly.

  2. Improving access to gardens, markets, parks, and public spaces is a great way to increase how the community comes together, which promotes the social good. Working towards sustainability is crucial these days, and like Randy said, the decision to take action is the first move, then implementation.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s