F

Urban Agriculture

After receiving a grant from the Knight Foundation, we designed and built our own app to make the new urban farming legislation in Boston more accessible.

Capabilities

  • Data aggregation, alignment, and analysis
  • Mobile-first web app development

Challenges

  • Align different legislation and source data to create a single, up-to-date set of rules
  • Navigate Boston's city government to find the right data sources and people to work with

Achievements

  • Converted complex legislation into a simple mobile application that allows users to ask direct questions and get direct answers

It’s true—you can officially keep bees on your roof in the City of Boston, along with a multitude of other urban agriculture ventures. The app, farm.fathom.info, allows users to see what, where, and how they can farm within Boston’s city limits. Whether pursuing a site on a roof or on the ground, the web app navigates and simplifies complex zoning code, giving farmers and entrepreneurs a comprehensive view of the steps they’ll need to take to start a commercial farm. Between soil plants, hydroponics, aquaponics, commercial composting, or the keeping of honeybees and hens, the site is an educational resource that shows how we can bring farming back to the city.

This project was created in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the City of Boston. The project is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. You can read Article 89 and Boston Zoning Code documents to see the original legislation.