Urban Vertical Garden: Social and Environmental Justice Through Farming in Urban Area

Koami Amegnran, Dr. Arijit Sen, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2441 E. Hartford Ave, Milwaukee WI 53211

Food insecurity, pollution, and unemployment are major social and environmental malaises found in midwestern, post-industrial cities such as Milwaukee, WI. Besides air pollution produced by human activities such as transportation and manufacturing, researchers have also discovered that poor and marginalized residents struggle to access healthy and fresh foods. The absence of agriculture at a big scale in populated areas and a lack of availability of healthy food exacerbates this problem. Reports have shown that in Milwaukee County113 out of 297 neighborhoods cannot access healthy & fresh foods, 4 persons out of 10 cannot access fresh and healthy food, and 1 person out of 4 travels more than one mile to access a grocery store. This paper investigates an efficient way to reintegrate agriculture into the urban area by analyzing the benefits of vertical farming compared to traditional farming. Ethnographic and observational data were collected by visiting local community farms and interviewing local farmers, food activists, and managers of gardening materials retail stores. Research also included a comprehensive literature review using online and physical resources available at the UWM libraries.  The paper concludes that vertical farming does not only promote food justice, reduce pollution, and create employment opportunities but it also promotes cultural values exchange in the community, reduces extinction of species, and heals individuals suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Koami Amegnran

Institution: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Type: Poster

Subject: Architecture & Interior Design

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2056