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Designing Urban Agriculture: A Complete Guide to the Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance and Management of Edible Landscapes

Monday, June 3, 2013 8:08 am EDT

In the past quarter century, food production has been pushed to the periphery of the city. Today the trend is to connect it back to the heart of the city and grow food in urban centers. This resurgence is in response to concerns about rising food prices, food miles, and the environment. Wiley today announced the publication of Designing Urban Agriculture: A Complete Guide to the Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance and Management of Edible Landscapes(Wiley, 978-1-118-07383-4, May 2013, US $75.00), a framework of information to aid in the creation of urban agriculture landscapes that promote ecological biodiversity and social sustainability.

This photo-rich, full-color guide begins with a foundation of ecological principles and the idea that the food shed is part of a city's urban systems network. It outlines a design process based on systems thinking and developed for a lifecycle or regenerative-based approach. Designing Urban Agriculture also presents strategies, tools, and guidelines that enable informed decisions on planning, designing, budgeting, constructing, maintaining, marketing, and increasing the sustainability of this re-invented cityscape. Case studies demonstrate the environmental, economic, and social value of these landscapes and reveal paths to a greener and healthier urban environment. This unique and indispensable guide covers:

  • Over a dozen typologies including community gardens, urban farms, edible estates, green roofs and vertical walls, edible school yards, seed to table, food landscapes within parks, plazas, streetscapes and green infrastructure systems and more
  • How to design regenerative edible landscapes that benefit both community and ecology
  • The connections between food, policy, and planning that promote viable food shed systems for more resilient communities
  • Integration of management, maintenance, and operations issues

The twenty-first-century sustainable city requires the merging of urbanism with sustainable food systems. The design strategies for agricultural urbanism are about re-inviting food back into the city and reconnecting people with their local and regional food systems to promote a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Designing Urban Agriculture is now available for purchase online and at retailers nationwide in both print and all e-book formats. For a list of retailers, visit and for additional information, please watch the book trailer.

About the Author

APRIL PHILIPS, RLA, FASLA, is founder and principal of April Philips Design Works, an award-winning Bay Area firm that specializes in landscape architecture and urban ecology. Her notable projects include Union Square, Santana Row, Peet's Coffee and Tea Roasting Facility, 2001 Market Street, VF Outdoor Campus, and Oakland Memorial Park. Her recent work includes the incorporation of urban edibles and increasing habitat in the urban realm. Visit April’s blog:

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