Global thought-leaders in urban and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) will convene in the City of Atlanta on March 27th and 28th at the 2nd Annual AgLanta Conference to share new technological advances in the field and discuss how cities can better plan for the future by making local food systems more resilient worldwide.
“Atlanta is honored to host some of the best and brightest minds in the urban and controlled environment agriculture sector,” said Mario Cambardella, Director of Urban Agriculture for the Mayor’s Office of Resilience. “We believe new and innovative ideas come from these gatherings which help our city become more resilient in an ever changing world.”
This year’s theme “Smart Ag for Smart Cities”, comes at a time when cities are facing major challenges with aging infrastructure, technology and transportation systems. A rise in the interest of “Smart City” resilience strategies is sweeping the world as leaders look to mitigate the effects of complicated problems like global warming coupled with catastrophic weather events and food insecurity. Rather surprisingly, local food production through urban and controlled environment agriculture have been largely left out of the conversation.
“Urban agriculture has the ability to solve many of the challenges that cities are facing today,” said Henry Gordon-Smith, founder of Agritecture Consulting, the firm that organized the AgLanta Conference. Agritecture Consulting is developing structured frameworks for urban agriculture production and distribution in an effort to make cities more resilient. “Part of our mission at Agritecture for the next few years is to help cities see the critical role urban agriculture can play and conferences like AgLanta accelerate the discussion.”
Featured speakers include Otis Rolley, Regional Director of North America 100 Resilient Cities, a global initiative supported by the Rockefeller Foundation that assists cities to become stronger in an increasingly challenging world environment; Vonnie Estes, 2017 winner of the Rosalind Franklin Award in Biotechnology and an expert in Ag innovation; Ambassador Andrew Young; Robyn Metcalfe, Director of Food + City; Jeff Bisberg, CEO of Illumitex; Mark Korzilius, Founder of Farmers Cut and Viki Radden, CEO, Honor Harvest, to name only a few.
The Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience is hosting the conference and expecting 300 attendees representing a wide range of disciplines including urban planners, architects, entrepreneurs, technologists, business owners, and urban farmers for this premium networking and knowledge sharing opportunity.
Atlanta is the perfect location for agribusiness to set root. It is home to a business-friendly environment with abundant and affordable workers, innovative technology resources, and thought-leaders in the burgeoning urban agriculture industry. Aggressive population growth projections coupled with the quality of life benefits the City of Atlanta has to offer creates the ideal setting for work in the urban agriculture industry. As of December 2015, Atlanta is one of a handful of cities with an Urban Agriculture Director, dedicated to working on food access generating policy, advocacy, and development.
Furthermore, Southern Company, the nation’s 2nd largest utility company, will again be a banner sponsor for the AgLanta Conferenc. Southern Company believes that locally sourced produce is not only healthier and more sustainable, but also that it can also be highly marketable and lucrative. Thus, Southern Company and the Mayor’s Office of Atlanta are proud to recognize and support the positive health and community outcomes from this budding industry.
Join us next week on March 27th and 28th at the South’s only CEA focused conference. For press passes or to interview the organizers please contact Mario Cambardella (Mcambardella@atlantaga.gov) or Jessica Toledano (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Director of Urban Agriculture
Mayor’s Office of Resilience
Director, External Affairs