Urban agriculture: feeding a resilient city

16 June 2016

Making Wellingtonians more resilient by encouraging residents to support and grow local food and produce was just one of the menu items on the table yesterday at Wellington City Council’s Community, Sport and Recreation Committee meeting.

The topic of urban agriculture was discussed to highlight the successes of the programme so far and to suggest areas to focus on for growth and development.

Councillors heard the many social benefits that have emerged from urban agricultural practices such as the 16 community gardens run by volunteers on Council and privately-owned land have sprouted across the city for example. 

Urban agriculture contributes to Wellington’s natural capital with initiatives such as: Love Food – Hate Waste, Wellington on a Plate, Bee Friendly Capital, Eva Street Local Food Precinct, Our Fruit Tree Capital and community gardens like the recent Bond Street pop-up development. 

Mayor Celia Wade Brown says urban agriculture is crucial to creating a resilient and sustainable city. “Our urban population is growing and it’s critical we invest and build urban agriculture into our cityscape.”

“We need to help people connect with nature and help them understand where their food comes from,” she says. “For children growing up in the city it is particularly important and the planting of school gardens and the support of environmental schools is very helpful.”

Committee Chair Councillor Paul Eagle says, “We’re having a food revolution in Wellington – we’ve created a people driven movement, fuelled by a passion and vision for the social, health and environmental benefits urban agriculture brings.”

“Wellington is now a city where you have access to affordable, locally sourced, healthy food and a connection to the food source. The sense of community and connection to place that are created through knowing where food comes from, who produced it and how it was produced has been exciting.”

The popularity of the Bond Street upgrade and development of the recent community garden highlights the importance placed upon by residents in the inner city on agriculture in an urban environment. More events are to be hosted at Bond Street soon and the Council will also be getting behind Wellington on Plate to support local food and produce with events hosted all around Wellington.

Easy ways to get involved are getting behind the ‘Love Food – Hate Waste’ campaign which provides tips and tools on how to minimise food waste in your house. You could also help us grow our fruit tree capital by planting a fruit tree in your community, get involved with your local community garden or plant bee friendly plants to support our urban bees.