Urban homesteading encompasses a range of ideas, including urban farming and urban agriculture, relating to the practice of sustainable living. Although allotments and vegetable gardens have been common throughout history, lifestyle experiments such as the Integral Urban House have played a key role in thrusting the concept into the modern era as a widely supported movement.
According to UC-Davis, “an urban homestead is a household that produces a significant part of the food, including produce and livestock, consumed by its residents. This is typically associated with residents’ desire to live in a more environmentally conscious manner.”
The subject of numerous publications over the past decade, urban homesteading has gained momentum within inner-cities across the world. The practice is highly communal and may include resource reduction, rearing livestock, edible landscaping, self-sufficient living, food preservation, foraging, natural building and composting.
The lifestyle has occasionally led to controversy – especially in the context of squatting or where zoning restrictions have been violated – but generally the effects of urban homesteading are positive ones.
Often benefitting the community as a whole and overlapping with the concept of urban interventionism, urban homesteading is widely supported by groups such as Tennessee’s The Farm, pushing for sustainable living through a “back-to-the-city” movement. (Sustainablog has a great list of urban agriculture success stories.)