Policy Recommendations

Five Borough Farm outlines a plan of action to grow urban agriculture in all five boroughs, including strategies to more thoroughly integrate farms and gardens into the cityscape, and programs, policies, and practices that include urban agriculture in the day-to-day decision-making of a broad range of City agencies. This section includes the main policy recommendations made by the Five Borough Farm team—the complete description and explanation of each recommendation can be found in the publication.

Formalize City Government's Support for Urban Agriculture

Establish a clear urban agriculture policy

Develop an urban agriculture plan

  • Create an agriculture land use map
  • Document all existing urban agriculture sites
  • Document available city-owned property
  • Identify available private property
  • Develop criteria to evaluate the suitability of vacant land for urban agriculture 
  • Evaluate the availability and suitability of city-owned sites for urban agriculture 


Explore appropriate land tenure and garden preservation

Strengthen the role of the Food Policy Coordinator

Increase the capacity of GreenThumb staff

Establish an urban agriculture ombudsman

Integrate Urban Agriculture into Existing City Policies and Plans

Expand support for urban agriculture in the city's green infrastructure program

Establish a municipal soil conservation and distribution program

Design a program to collect and compost organic matter, and distribute compost to gardens and farms

Include urban agriculture in the City's review processes

Incorporate urban agriculture into neighborhood planning

Identify Innovative Opportunities to Build Urban Agriculture into the Cityscape

Support project-level urban agriculture planning and design

Encourage rooftop urban agriculture

Support "interim use" urban farm projects

Encourage gardening in small spaces

Strengthen infrastructure for food distribution and production

Address Disparities in New York City's Urban Agriculture Community

Increase access to information about available resources

Support capacity building for underserved urban agriculture groups

Provide resources and assistance with community development and outreach

Establish equitable and transparent participation in policy-making

Engage the urban agriculture community in the budget process

Commit to improving agency-level capacities to address race- and class-based disparities