Understanding the Goals of Urban Agriculture Policy in State Legislation

May 2020
Meghan Monaghan

Literature suggests that incorporating urban agricultural practices into urban planning and policy making could be an effective method of improving economic and environmental sustainability, as well as increasing urban food security if adopted on a wide-spread scale. Existing urban agriculture policies, however, appear to establish enumerate programs with differing goals. This paper inventories the legislation of all 50 states for policies regarding urban agriculture. The purpose statements of all US urban agricultural policies are analyzed to understand why state legislators decided to implement such policies. These policies were compared amongst each other for commonalities in programs/initiatives established, and overall goals of such programs. Policy existence was further evaluated in terms of state demographics to understand how regional characteristics may influence viability of state urban agriculture policy. The findings of this research could be of value to policy makers looking to further understand urban agriculture’s role in urban planning and the possible ways that it can be implemented within their state’s existing infrastructure.