Coming soon, to a city near you: open-source agriculture | Grist
Most people attempting to build a viable urban agriculture business are acutely aware of the enormously challenging and time-consuming process of navigating zoning regulations. Having worked in this sector, I can personally testify that the process is tedious and time-sucking. Over the past couple of years, a number of cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago have begun enacting, or at the very least exploring, new regulations. One of the major challenges facing policymakers, however, is identifying effective policies and best practices.
Which is why I got excited when I learned about Washington, D.C.-based John Reinhardt and the urban agriculture zoning and food sovereignty ordinance maps recently launched on his blog Grown in the City. Among other things covered, Reinhardt and his cousin Bob Wall are using technology to help people understand urban agriculture and food sovereignty policy approaches across the United States. Grown in The City’s new iTools column focuses on educating urban agriculturists of all kinds on how they can use open source technology to better communicate food policy and urban planning data, reviews tools, and highlights other resourceful websites.
My interview with Reinhardt gives insight into the maps, why open-source data is crucial for optimizing policy decision-making, and the food and tech trends that he’s most excited about.
John Reinhardt.Q. How did an urban planner get interested in food and tech?