Affordable Housing Meets Rooftop Farming: Feeding Los Angeles' Low Income Residents
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The following report seeks to answer the question, how can rooftop farming on affordable housing developments be implemented as an attainable option for increasing access to affordable local produce in the city of Los Angeles, CA? Research of existing literature found that the key challenges and barriers to implementing rooftop farms is the additional cost as well as the lack of information available to guide the development of such projects. Further, the literature also uncovered the environmental services, social, health, and mental health benefits, as well as financial incentives to developers that rooftop gardens can provide. Through interviews with affordable housing developers in Los Angeles, CA it was found that their top concerns regarding the implementation of rooftop farms were the associated cost, maintenance, and safety measures it would require. Additionally, apprehensiveness about levels of resident participation was common to nearly all of the developers interviewed. In order to tackle the concerns of developers, recommendations were made to design urban gardens as a multi-use spaces, partner with urban agriculture organizations to relieve developers of some of the planning burden, and lastly frame urban gardens as health and wellness focused to cater to current sources of funding available in Los Angeles, California.