Evaluating the Potential for Urban Agricultural Production in Madison, Wisconsin
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Population growth and the widespread destruction of natural resources for increased food production are quickly becoming a global crises. Increasingly popular responses to these crises include urban agriculture and local food production, however the scale of each have yet to reach production levels of self-sufficiency within individual cities, and government aid to pursue these levels is lacking. Studies on food production potential within cities are only just beginning and have primarily focused on large post-industrial cities. This article attempts to determine the agricultural production potential of a mid-sized, Midwestern city by using four production practices atop various percentages of multiple land use types within the City of Madison, Wisconsin. Comparing our findings to national fruit and vegetable intakes, we have determined that Madison can meet its demand for fresh fruit and vegetable crops using methods of urban agricultural production and assuming ideal conditions and equitable distribution. We compare these results against the backdrop of Madison’s current agricultural state and political ecology to contextualize our data, and compile our recommendations for expanding urban agriculture in Madison.