Urban Agriculture

The Urban Agriculture Subcommittee guides the City of Philadelphia to develop and implement innovative laws and policies to support the conversion of Philadelphia’s vacant and underutilized lands into sustainable community assets that increase food security and sovereignty for all Philadelphia residents. The subcommittee engages diverse stakeholders to inform recommendations and make current policies more transparent.


Soil Safety Working Group

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Farm Philly Program began researching soil safety in an effort to expand gardening programs on city-owned land. Farm Philly identified a national policy gap on this issue, and approached the Urban Agriculture Subcommittee to help develop policy recommendations on soil safety for the City of Philadelphia. The subcommittee convened the Philadelphia Soil Safety Working Group in summer 2014 to bring together experts and practitioners and establish these recommendations. The Working Group met three times throughout the summer, drafted recommendations, and identified potential for collaboration among the Working Group participants on next steps. The subcommittee produced the Philadelphia Soil Safety and Urban Gardening Report that highlights these recommendations.

One of the Working Group participants, Penn State Center Engaging Philadelphia, developed an easy to understand soil safety best practices one-pager that gardeners can start using right now to make sure they and their families are growing safely! En español aquí.

Land Access

The Urban Agriculture Subcommittee supported legislation to create the Philadelphia Land Bank and submitted feedback about the Land Bank Bill and Strategic Plan through testimony. The Land Bank will facilitate a process for acquiring vacant, tax delinquent parcels and returning them for a variety of productive uses. One of the priority uses is for urban agriculture and open space.

One of FPAC’s partners, the Public Interest Law Center, developed the Vacant Land 215 toolkit that explains several pathways for how residents can access vacant land for urban agriculture and other uses. En español aquí.


The subcommittee meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 3:30pm to 5:00pm. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact co-chairs Nancy Kohn and Ash Richards.