–Kelly Sanderbeck, Communications & Development Director
I’ll admit it, I am a YIMBY. Yes, I want farms in my backyard. Yes, I want the sound of tractors and the smell of animals. Yes, I want to be part of, and alongside, nature again instead of acting as if I’m above it all. Some call it New Ruralism or Green Urbanism. Now, homes along organic farms go for a premium, just as it used to be with golf courses!
It’s always been that way in Western Europe. All towns are surrounded by farmland. And it’s not merely because they are “old school” and not innovative. The countries have been forced, by their sheer compactness, to use their land wisely. Here in America, because of our seemingly unlimited land, we’re just starting to think about land use, wise land use.
We’ve always used our land. In fact, we’ve nearly used up our land. Especially farmland and the valuable soil that is able to grow food. Ever heard the song, “Everything Old is New Again?”
By definition, New Ruralism is:
a framework for creating a bridge between Sustainable Agriculture and New Urbanism. Sustainable agriculture can help bring cities down to earth, to a deeper commitment to the ecology and economy of the surrounding countryside on which they depend. New Ruralism embraces the power of place-making that can help American agriculture move from an artificially narrow production focus to encompass broader resource preservation values. As a place-based and systems-based framework, New Ruralism nurtures the symbiotic relationship between urban and rural areas. –Sibella Kraus, UC Berkeley and SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Education).