Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Design

First Advisor

John Lanterman

Second Advisor

Georgia Lindsay

Third Advisor

Jill Harrison


Urban Agriculture is an accepted practice in many cities and countries, and has attracted a broad cross-section of people across the United States to start growing food in their communities. In some cases, the motivation behind Urban Agriculture is clear, but throughout the history of Urban Agriculture in the United States there have been many reasons why urbanites have started growing food. Such reasons include an ideological battle against conventional agriculture, the need for food itself, the desire to recreate, and the urge to educate others. The motivation behind the practice varies from location to location with national trends shifting throughout history as communities struggled to understand what Urban Agriculture meant to them. Ultimately, however, the motivations of the Americans on the ground practicing Urban Agriculture are largely undocumented. Through a series of interviews with practitioners of Urban Agriculture across the United States, I have gathered data suggesting that the primary reasons why Americans are growing food in cities today are to have a career in a profession they enjoy and to educate others about the benefits they see in Urban Agriculture.