“Productive Landscapes in Chicago and the Southland: A Framework for Fostering a Vibrant Community-Based Urban Agriculture Cluster” builds on previous research and interviews used to develop the 2015 Cultivating Productive Landscapes in the Millennium Reserve report looking at the potential for urban agriculture and productive landscapes in the Millennium Reserve, and more expansively, in the areas covered by the new Calumet Collaborative. The process to develop this report was facilitated by the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, through a series of five meetings convened between October 2016 and March 2017.
The Millennium Reserve Area, covering Chicago’s South Side and suburban municipalities in southern Cook County, holds enormous potential for a system of productive landscapes. Over the course of six months, between October 2016 to March 2017, 31 participants took part in a series of conversations concerning how various stakeholders could help foster the growth of urban agriculture in this area. Out of these conversations—which included representatives of 27 organizations including farms, non-profits, universities, land trusts, community organizations, funders, and federal, state, regional, county and municipal governments—it became clear that there is both the opportunity and interest to create a organizational and policy framework that supports the growth of productive landscapes. This report outlines this framework, based on insights and outcomes from these conversations
This report was made possible by support from the Illinois Coastal Management Program of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.