Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy

Document Type



By 2050, the world’s population is projected to exceed nine billion people. Most of this growth is expected to materialize in urban and urbanizing areas, potentially further increasing disparities amongst populations in these environments. Historically, urban environments have lacked ample opportunities for providing locally grown, community-operated, small-scale urban farms that help to minimize food insecurity. Similarly, urban environments have lacked resiliency respective to small-scale farm operations. As a result, many public health issues and related policies are either antiquated or non-existent when it comes to providing opportunities for food security and resiliency in urban environments.

This article suggests several key considerations for integrating health law and policy into practice in urban environments for the primary purpose of advancing urban agriculture and, consequently, access, positive health outcomes, and resiliency. This is achieved through understanding five primary needs: (1) need for policy changes, (2) need for profit, (3) need for performance, (4) need for proprietary technology, and (5) need for people. A Washington, District of Columbia, case study is used to illustrate these considerations.