Torrance considers latest urban “green” trend

March 28, 2014 by  

An old trend is making a comeback, namely urban agriculture, and now the movement is coming to Torrance.

City officials are taking a cue from their Los Angeles counterparts and exploring what it would take, from an ordinance perspective, to support sustainable gardening in the municipality.

From rooftop gardens to the use of vacant and abandoned lots for communal gardening ventures, the merits of sustainable agriculture in metropolitan areas are many. In addition to providing local access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein, these green oases catch rainwater and reduce run-off, keep buildings cooler, and mitigate the heating amplification of concrete and asphalt. Supporters also point to the social advantages of urban gardens, especially in building strong, cross-generational bonds in neighborhoods.

Torrance leaders know there are considerations to be addressed when it comes to a broad-based gardening effort. For one thing, the bans on keeping bees or chickens in a residential backyard would need to be lifted to broaden urban farming beyond simply tomatoes in patio pots or small vegetable patches.

To gauge the level of support for changes to existing codes, city officials are planning to hold a series of community meetings to hear from constituents, one of which was held on March 19. Local business owners, from paving services to printing companies, are also encouraged to attend these sessions.