Zoning for Urban Agriculture: The Politics of Institutionalizing Community Gardens in Madison, WI
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The growing popularity of urban agriculture calls for the need for formal recognition in the Madison zoning code rewrite. To understand the politics of this process, we interviewed key actors: city planners and community gardeners, observed public hearings, and analyzed geographic data. City planners and gardeners agree on the importance of community gardens and support the institutionalization of gardening in the zoning code. However, there appears to be a perceptual disconnect between the parties. The urban agricultural zone is a largely symbolic, political statement by the city whereas the primary concerns of gardeners are more tangible.