Urban Agriculture Education 

 & Civic Participation


10.000 years ago, agriculture created food surpluses that enabled the creation of cities.

Later, cities and urban communities started to face enormous ecological, social, and sustainability challenges.

Today, agriculture is expanding in cities to provide healthy local food, reduce urban ecological footprint, provide jobs training, respond to the climate change crisis, and more.

We are exploring the impact of urban agriculture education in New York City on youths' civic participation related to social and environmental issues.


Besides the economic benefits (food production and distribution) and environmental benefits (more green space and reduced food miles), urban agriculture can foster civic participation among young people, families, and communities. Civically engaged residents have self-efficacy, skills, and social capital that help them address social and environmental issues in urban communities.


In this research project, we explore the impacts of urban agriculture education programs in New York City. Urban agriculture occurs in urban farms, community and school gardens, on rooftops, as well as in more controlled indoor systems that use hydroponics, aquaponics, and greenhouses.



How does urban agriculture education influence youths' civic participation?


Which conceptual and practical ideas can strengthen civic participation among youth in urban agriculture education programs?


In New York City, numerous organizations involve students in urban agriculture education. They include NGOs, schools, community farms, museums, botanical gardens, and more. While these organizations have various goals, many of them empower young people to become active community members who care about social and environmental issues.

If you conduct an urban agriculture program in New York City, engage youth, and are interested to participate in this research, please contact the project researchers:

  • Alex Kudryavtsev, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University

  • Marianne Krasny, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University

Project collaborators:

  • Alexa Maille, New York State 4-H Youth Development

  • Jackie Davis-Manigaulte, Cornell Cooperative Extension–NYC

  • Jeff Perry, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University

  • Mary Leou, Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, NYU

  • Samuel Anderson, Harvest NY, Cornell Cooperative Extension

  • Thaddeus Copeland, Office of Sustainability, NYC Department of Education

This project is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Hatch project number 1021530. This project is approved by the Cornell University Institutional Review Board for Human Participants on October 10, 2019, protocol ID 1909009057.