Target: Brandon Johnson, Director of the Washington Park Consortium (Chicago’s urban planners)
Goal: Applaud Chicago for rebuilding a local community by creating an urban farm district
City planners in Chicago are planning to turn empty lots in Chicago’s South Side community of Englewood into urban farms as part of its Green Healthy Neighborhoods project. If approved, the urban farm district would be the biggest in the country, and is meant to help the struggling local economy as well as addressing the absence of fresh food in the neighborhood. The population of Englewood has decreased significantly in the last decade, and this project is expected to create jobs and revitalize the community.
This plan would convert Englewood’s many empty lots into farms, as well as turning a two mile stretch of the neighborhood into a park where farms would be able to sell their products. In addition to adding new farms, the city plans to add agriculture programs to the community’s colleges so that residents will have the knowledge necessary to start new small farms and related businesses. Existing farms have already started offering job training for those who are interested in the industry.
Because of the neighborhood’s extensive railway system, farmers would be able to further help the local economy by shipping food around the country. Chicago’s planners have come up with an elaborate project to bring this neighborhood out of poverty, and they expect urban planners and those interested in urban farming from around the country to travel to the city to learn about the project, increasing tourism in the community.
Instead of relying on big businesses and factories to stimulate the neighborhood’s economy, Chicago has a long-term plan to rebuild the city and create new green jobs while ensuring that affordable and healthy food will be available to the city’s residents. Chicago should be applauded for developing a project to help the local economy without threatening the environment.
Dear Mr. Johnson,
Thank you for the work that you have done in planning an urban farm district in Chicago’s community of Englewood. The project will create new jobs while bringing residents back to the community and ensuring that those residents can buy healthy and affordable food.
Rather than relying on major corporations to attract people to the neighborhood, this project will create small businesses that help the local economy without posing a threat to the environment. Developing related educational and job training opportunities will ensure that all residents have the ability to participate in and benefit from the new agricultural economy.
The urban farm project will rebuild the community of Englewood by increasing job opportunities, bringing in new businesses, attracting tourists, and ensuring that the community is a healthy and environmentally-friendly place to live. Thank you for your part in establishing this new project.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Linda N. via Flickr.