Chicago’s urban farms have been vastly expanding; Chicago is quietly becoming the nation’s urban farming capital, with 821 growing sites across the city, from small community gardens to multi-million dollar indoor farms. (1) Urban farms first came into play due to food deserts, food waste, and lack of access to healthy food. Incorporating urban agriculture into urban design has impacted Chicago in a positive way: Farms such as Growing Home in Englewood bring healthy and affordable food into the community, also create jobs and attract new housing, industry, and businesses. (2) Growing Home also has a strong career building program in which applicants work on the farm while learning career development skills necessary for pre and post college work. Growing Home also promotes sustainable infrastructure and addresses Englewood’s problem of abundance of vacant lots by being built on an abandoned vacant lot.
Urban farms in Chicago have been effective in helping communities with poor community development, although urban agriculture development is still somewhat neglected or unknown. The main issue for the cause of the rise of this sustainable development is lack of access to healthy food, and in that case the growth of urban farming has been successful. Incorporating urban farming into planning promotes overall economic development, social justice, and environmental protection of the city, however problems such as property, development, and resource conflicts do arise. (3) This is a result of lack of funding or support provided of the city’s wards, and lack of knowledge of land ownership. Overall, urban farming promotes sustainable living, however it comes with an array of legality conflicts.