Ann Yoachim, the program manager for the Law School's Institute on Water Resources Law & Policy, is moderating an interdisciplinarypanel on urban farming today. The panel is sponsored by Tulane's Office of Global Health.
Mark Davis, the Director of our Water Law & Policy institute, was kind enough to help explain the relationship between the Institute's focus and urban farming: "What does this have to do with water, you might be asking yourself. Well, potentially plenty. While urban farming has many virtues to recommend it, one of its values is creating productive landscapes that can also fit into a water management system. Urban farms can be an important part of storm water management and water storage. This is particularly important in New Orleans where we now have scads of vacant or underutilized lots that beg for a new model for use and development. Current zoning laws don't generally contemplate integrating farming activities into the urban landscape, and our current drainage and storm protection system is based on wall, pumps and ditches with precious little recognition of the landscape itself can provide water management opportunities (aside from slapping green dots on maps)."
Also participating on the panel are Doug Meffert, Eugenie Schwartz Professor of River and Coastal Studies and deputy director, Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research, speaking about "Ecosystem Services in an Urban Area — and Wetland Restoration and Loss"; Pam Broom, deputy director, New Orleans Food and Farm Network, speakingabout"Growing for Food: Growing Back to Our Roots"; Emilie Taylor, adjunct instructor, School of Architecture, speaking about "Food Justice and Design"; and Jeanette Bell, founder, Fleur D'Eden Community Garden, on"The Real Dirt on Urban Farming in NOLA: Words from a Community Gardener."