Growing In the City to Eliminate Food Deserts


Map: Locations of professional urban farms (blue) and a network of NeighborSpace community gardens (green).

Urban farms and community gardens are on the rise in Chicago, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Nonprofits like NeighborSpace and other organizations dedicated to urban agriculture are changing the way city dwellers get their fruits and veggies. With a cheap bag of seeds and a little bit of patience, it’s becoming increasingly easier to be the envy of the potluck by being able to make soups and stir fry and pies with produce you grew yourself.

This broad network of greenhouses also helps make fresh produce more available to lower income areas of the city previously regarded as food deserts. In fact, some of the best urban farming in Chicago is located on the South and West sides. Part of this can be attributed to Mayor Emanuel’s 2013 interactive effort to combat food deserts in the city.

Although Chicago still has a long way to go before completely eliminating food deserts, community gardens sprouting in the South and West sides is definitely a step in the right direction.

 

Data Sources:
City of Chicago urban farms
NeighborSpace gardens

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