Challenges in Radical Sustainable Living: A Look at Landslide Community Farm

Landslide is an urban farm and sustainable living project in
Pittsburgh's Hill District. We have three acres of farmland, two
farmhouses, and 14 full time volunteers. Our hope is to build a
community based project that can provide a consistent supply of
healthy food for our neighborhood and offer a model for sustainable
living in an urban setting.

In the two years since the farm's inception we've had some major
successes and build strong and lasting relationships with our
community. But we've also run into several daunting challenges. This first session with Landslide will address one of these challenges (and a panel session later in the day will examine others, related to structures of urban collectives):

* We are a group of mostly young, mostly privileged, mostly white
farmers moving into a neighborhood that has historically been
predominantly inhabited by people of color. How does our presence
in this neighborhood play into larger problems of gentrification
and the politics of displacement? Why do we think it's 'OK' for us
to move into this neighborhood when we would be critical of some
other projects moving into the area, such as art galleries or
coffee shops. Also, while we are hoping to make improvements to
our neighborhood, how do we avoid being seen by our neighbors and outside observers as privileged, outside saviors who have come to
'fix' this 'broken' community.

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