Agriculture in New York State is not limited to rural areas.  Urban agriculture is a growing phenomenon in New York City as well as many upstate cities.

Environmental concerns, food security, improved nutrition, and income generation are key motivations for the practice of urban agriculture.  It is often intended to as a means to produce goods for those who lack the means and access to healthy food.  In other cases, organic growers, ‘foodies,’ and ‘locavores’ form agricultural enterprises to meet their own specific food needs.

In urban areas, many residents suffer from high rates of obesity and diabetes.  roofGarden2There is also a limited sources of fresh produce – often referred to as urban deserts – as well as a lack of available, undeveloped land.  This combination of factors has led to a variety of urban agriculture projects such as hydroponic growing, rooftop farms, and community gardens.

Urban agriculture can also be used as an effective educational resource to teach adults and children about agricultural and horticultural techniques, healthy eating and meaningful physical activity.

Urban agriculture can produce a number of benefits including:

  • Improving access to food for low-income populations;
  • Improving the quality of urban diets;
  • Increasing self-sufficiency;
  • Putting vacant or blighted property to productive use;
  • Soil and wastewater conservation;
  • Energy and transportation savings.

emptyLotsHow Can Mediation Help? 

As with any human enterprise, urban agriculture initiatives can generate a variety of conflicts and disputes.  NYSAMP can help by providing experienced mediators at no or low cost to help resolve these disputes in a way that meets the needs of all parties involved.

Urban agriculture mediations may involve:


  • Neighborhood resident gardeners and farmers
  • Neighborhood residents
  • Farmers Markets/GreenMarket vendors, customers, managers and board members
  • Non-profit organizations & for-profit businesses
  • Agricultural suppliers
  • City, State and Federal agencies
  • Unpaid bills or loans
  • Access to land or credit

To learn more about urban agriculture in New York State, please visit the following links:

Green Thumb
Just Food
Five Borough Farm
Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) & Going Green

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