Urban agriculture recognized in Chicago

September 8, 2011

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The Chicago City Council passed an amendment to the zoning code that recognizes urban agriculture.

This now makes urban farming of fruits, vegetables and fish legal in Chicago.

Farms settled on vacant land have been popping up around the city – particularly in blighted areas. These farms had to jump through hoops for recognition. Now, the zoning code expands the size of community gardens to 25,000 feet to accommodate commercial farms.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said this could mean thousands of green jobs.

"This policy is about taking land that we have here in the city of Chicago that is literally sitting fallow both as land as well as a revenue base or tax base and turning it into a job creator and a revenue creator. And there’s great parts of the city where that exists," Emanuel said.

Urban agriculture is also used to bring fresh produce to communities lacking in healthy food.