Communally-managed urban farms are one of many urban agriculture (UA) typologies gaining popularity in U.S. cities. They differ spatially from traditional allotment-style farming, blend a range of programmatic activities, and are gaining popularity in cities where residents wait years for access to individualized plots or where cities must consider urban sites too constrained for traditional community gardens. These communal farms also display opportunities for integrating with the goals of a successful public space. Having blended programmatic goals and holistic spatial design, communal farms lend themselves more readily to operating as public space than many alternative forms of UA. This paper evaluates five case-studies of communally-managed urban farms in San Francisco to determine their ability to operate dualistically as areas for food production and public space, and identifies the conflicts and compatibilities of the spatial considerations for both. It uses a case-study methodology for comparing spatial characteristics of communally-managed urban farms against the spatial criteria needed to create successful public space.


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pp. 37-55
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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