The Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project is a planning and design collaboration between the City of Langley, Metro Vancouver and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The project aims to study the opportunities to bring urban agriculture to a 23 acre (9.4 ha) BC Hydro transmission right-of-way (ROW) in the City of Langley. The right-of-way is located between 200 St. and 204 St. adjacent to Uplands Off-Leash Dog Park. The primary objectives of this project are to:
- demonstrate leadership in sustainability,
- transform underutilized city-owned lands,
- establish urban agriculture in a utility corridor,
- enhance food system resiliency,
- contribute to local food production,
- broaden the local economy,
- provide recreational opportunities,
- provide educational opportunities,
- leverage partnerships with academic institutions, and
- share process, practices and findings with other local governments in the region.
The 12 month planning process will involve consultation with partners and community members and result in an urban agriculture plan for the BC Hydro ROW site. The process will also involve site assessments, stakeholder engagement, amenity design, budgeting and operations planning.
Funded by Metro Vancouver through the Sustainability Innovation Fund, Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project aims to develop an approach that can be replicated in other municipalities across the region.
Supporting Information For the Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project
Urban agriculture (UA) is not a new concept, and currently, many examples of commercial and noncommercial food production can be found in cities
around the world. UA is defined as the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a village, town, or city that can involve animal
husbandry, aquaculture, agroforestry, beekeeping, and horticulture. The primary outcome of UA is food production, but many projects also provide multi-functional benefits that align with broader social and ecological sustainability goals. The potential functions of UA projects are outlined in Table 1.
Fresh Roots School Farm, Vancouver BC
Fresh Roots operates market gardens on school yard
properties in Vancouver. These projects increase access to
local food, provide education for young people and summer
employment for students.
Prinzessinnengärten, Berlin GER
This urban garden occupies a vacant lot in central Berlin
which has contributed to urban greening, provided new
space for community connection and opportunities for
education about food production and ecology.
Urban Agriculture Amenities
Urban agriculture projects are as diverse as the communities they serve and can be charactarized by the different physical and programmatic elements, or
amenities. Other amenities, including parking, walking trails and signage are often also integrated to improve user experience, education and recreation outcomes. Some common UA amenities are described in Table 2.
21 Acres, Woodinville WA
This community farm is operated by a non-profit group
and features a children’s garden, apiary, local food market,
incubator kitchen as well as production space for vegetables
Haliburton Organic Farming Society, Victoria BC
This site hosts 7 different farming businesses, including a
native plant nursery. Businesses share resources and make
collective decisions about how to manage the land. The site
also features a wetland and several kilometeres of trails.
Urban Agriculture in Hydro Right-Of-Ways
Agriculture is considered a compatible use in hydro right-of-way (ROW) areas in urban and rural settings with cropping and livestock grazing both practiced. Hydro ROW areas present specific opportunities for UA, as parcels of land where the potential for future development is limited and other uses are restricted. When health and safety concerns are properly addressed through planning and design, UA projects in hydro ROW areas have the potential to contribute to a variety of positive outcomes. There are however restrictions on agricultural activities and infrastructure in these areas which can make it difficult to farm successfully, especially in an urban setting.
Restrictions in Hydro Right-Of-Ways
All secondary uses in hydro ROW areas are subject to restrictions that aim to protect public safety and maintain function of utility equipment. BC Hydro outlines site infrastructure and activities that may be restricted in ROW areas, including:
• Permanent structures
• Temporary structures over 3m
• Mature vegetation over 3m
• Metallic materials (including fencing and lighting)
• Mechanical irrigation
• Commercial parking lots
• Any interference with utility work and equipment
More information about hydro ROW safety and a full list of possible restrictions can be found in the BC Hydro Right-of-Way Compatibility Guidelines.
Stanford Avalon Community Garden, Los Angeles CA
This community garden was established on vacant land under high voltage power lines. The garden serves many low income and marginalized residents providing space for
growing food and for connecting with community.
Loutet Farm, North Vancouver BC
This farm is an initaitive of a non-profit group called the Edible Garden Project. The site facilitates production, education and community connection by hosting regular
workbees, education days and community meals.
Lafayette Greens, Detroit MI
This public plaza has been transformed into an urban agriculture amenity through the use of raised garden beds and public art.
Brooksdale Community Farm, Surrey BC
This farm features 2 acres of market garden producing for a Community Shared Agriculture program. The farm is also part of a bigger site dedicated to ecological restoration and environmental education.
May 10, 2017
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Alice Brown Elementary School Gymnasium
20011 – 44 Avenue
The City of Langley, Metro Vancouver and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University are studying the potential use of the BC Hydro Right-of-Way between 200 Street and 204 Street for urban agriculture. City residents were invited to drop in, learn about urban agriculture, and contribute their views about possible uses of the site. At the meeting, the following information was provided:
The City of Langley also asked attendees to submit feedback: Community Open House - Participant Feedback
For further information about the project, please contact Roy Beddow, Deputy Director Economic Development and Development Services at firstname.lastname@example.org
Since hosting a community open house on May 10th, the project team has been busy compiling and analyzing input received from the public at the meeting and subsequently through correspondence and telephone calls. The comments received combined with a thorough evaluation of the costs and benefits of various amenities are shaping the site planning work currently underway. The project team is preparing site design options for consideration by the public at a second community open house planned for September. Following the second open house, a final site design option will be chosen and developed into a concept plan with accompanying report to be presented to City Council before the end of the year.