/17 Food

Rob Stephenson

Urban Agriculture

In 1917 the Mayor’s Committee on Food Gardens issued a report documenting the creation of nearly 12,000 gardens and 1,120 acres of large plots dedicated to growing vegetables in New York City. Nearly one hundred years later, many New Yorkers have no access to fresh produce and those that do often eat food that has traveled hundreds if not thousands of miles. Economic, social and environmental concerns have fueled a revival of urban agricultural in the city.

That there is still arable land within walking distance of a subway and that a rooftop can produce as much food as a field challenges preconceptions of urban and agricultural landscapes. These images looks at how traditional methods of agriculture have been adapted to succeed in an urban environment, examining the evolving relationship between a city and its food source.

The project was made possible by a fellowship from the Design Trust for Public Space who also published a book of the work, From Roof to Table, in 2012.