Harvest Brighton and Hove: evaluation of the first year of an urban growing project
Madgwick, D. (2010) Harvest Brighton and Hove: evaluation of the first year of an urban growing project In: COBRA 2010: The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors , 2 - 3 September 2010, Paris, France.
Harvest Brighton and Hove is a £0.5M Beacon Lottery funded four year project to increase the amount of food produced within the city. Launched in September 2009 the University of Brighton is carrying the evaluation. This paper sets out to describe the process of the evaluation including the recording of the existing land available for growing within the city and mapping for suitability by the use of GIS. It explores the use of community engagement to identify spare plots of land which could be developed for urban agriculture. It goes on to describe the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of some of the projects which make up Harvest including the innovative scrumping project which collects fruit from existing fruit trees within the city and turns it into juice for schools, and the allotment project which works with the local authority and housing associations to provide more land for growing. The paper considers how the project has developed in the first year against a set of out-comes identified in the business plan as follows;- • ‘Increasing the amount of food produced locally by increasing the space available to produce food, enabling communities to manage land sustainably and increasing the productivity of the land. • Improving access to local food by increasing opportunities across the city to grow, taste and buy local produce • Increasing Skills and confidence of local people in growing food and • Improving awareness of the benefits of growing, buying and eating local produce across all sections of the community.’ Working with a collaborative and multi agency approach the paper concludes by reflecting onsome of the successes of the first year’s evaluation and considers how the knowledge learnt to date can be used to work towards assessment against the final out-come of ;- • ‘Ensuring strategies and guidance that support land use and infrastructure for urban agriculture are developed and implemented within the city and elsewhere’.
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