Numerous studies have shown that urban agriculture can contribute to social, health, economic, and ecological benefits. However, very little of that works focuses specifically on New York City, or develops measures that can demonstrate benefits at a neighborhood as well as a citywide scale, and ultimately inform the decision-making of elected officials and City agencies.
Five Borough Farm establishes a framework to understand how the broad range of activities happening at the city's farms and gardens can contribute to social, health, economic, and ecological outcomes, and introduces a set of indicators that can be used to create tools for measuring the multiple benefits of urban agriculture.
Many studies have shown links between the urban agriculture activities across the top row (such as cooking and nutrition classes, rainwater harvesting, farmers markets) and the health, social, economic, and ecological benefits on the left hand column (such as healthy eating, stormwater management, and social connections).
"We're at the stage of developing [an evaluation] process...A lot of donors ask us how we are going to evaluate, and we describe what we think we would do, but then we don't get the grants, we don't get the sponsors."
- Institutional Farmer
The first tool of its kind in the country, the indicator guide provides a framework for the creation of tools to measure the health, social, ecological, and economic benefits of urban agriculture in a standardized manner across farms and gardens.
Read more about the process of developing the indicator guide.