Global Green has partnered with Youngstown State University to incorporate an urban agriculture roundtable into the 2012 Youngstown State University Sustainable Energy Forum this June in Youngstown, OH. Walker Wells, director of our Green Urbanism Program, will moderate the roundtable on June 5, the second day of the forum. Urban agriculture is emerging as an adaptive strategy as a solution to blight and a creator of job opportunities. It can take the form of community gardens, market gardens, and urban farms which include more traditionally rural pursuits such as bee keeping and maintaining chickens, livestock and aquaculture. Innovative zoning regulations, distribution and markets for fresh local foods help tie urban agriculture to broader vacant land reuse and sustainability goals.
This interactive program will feature key actors in the urban agriculture movement sharing lessons learned and effective practices for transforming blight into beautiful, useful, and economically viable spaces. The session will serve as the culmination of our work in Youngstown with local government, nonprofits, and Youngstown State University. We expect that the information shared during the program will lead to greater collaboration and advancement of urban agriculture in the region.
In addition to Wells as moderator, the event will include the following speakers: Jamael Tito Brown, Council President, City of Youngstown; Steve Fortenberry, Founder & Board President, Goodness Grows, North Lima, Ohio; Joy Johnson, Grants Management Director, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio; Dr. Jim Converse, Market Manager, Northside Farmer’s Market & Co-Founder, Common Wealth Inc., Youngstown, Ohio; Robert N. Brown Director of City Planning, City of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio; Brad Masi, Oberlin College Lecturer & Co-Founder, City Fresh, Oberlin, Ohio; Dr. Felicia Armstrong, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio.