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Growing a Greener Phoenix: Opportunities and Challenges for Urban Agriculture in the Phoenix Valley

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As an important part of the movement for local and sustainable food in our cities, urban farming has the potential to actively involve urban dwellers in environmental, social, and economic

As an important part of the movement for local and sustainable food in our cities, urban farming has the potential to actively involve urban dwellers in environmental, social, and economic issues of a global scale. When assessed according to a three-pillar model of sustainability, it can offer solutions to many of the major problems associated with the industrial food model that currently dominates the United States market. If implemented on a larger scale in the Phoenix metropolitan area, urban farming could improve overall environmental conditions, stimulate the local economy, and help solve food access and inequality issues. Through interviews with both amateur and established local urban farmers, this thesis attempts to identify and analyze some of the main barriers to the widespread participation in and incorporation of urban agriculture in the Phoenix Valley. Problems encountered by newcomers to the practice are compared with the experiences of more successful farmers to assess which barriers may be circumvented with proper knowledge and experience and which barriers specific to the Phoenix region may require greater structural changes.

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  • 2014-12