Urban gardens promotion law – La Paz, Bolivia

Key Insights

  • Providing access to public land
  • Facilitating family farming for food security
  • Promoting environmental stewardship and biodiversity


The city of La Paz formally acknowledged the need to strengthen local food supply and encourage urban agriculture in the interests of food security, but it lacked a legal framework to grant citizens access to public land to grow food. This gap was bridged in 2018, when the city adopted a law setting out conditions for citizens to grow food on public land on a temporary basis. Alongside enabling families to improve household food security, the law puts to use neglected public spaces and enhances biodiversity within the urban area.


This case study version is from the Menu of Actions (2019). Suggested citation: Halliday, J., Platenkamp, L., Nicolarea, Y. (2019) A menu of actions to shape urban food systems for improved nutrition, GAIN, MUFPP and RUAF.

Growing lettuce in urban gardens (Bolivia), Shutterstock/Natallia Ustsinava

The action and its aims

La Paz adopted a new law (LM 321/18) allowing citizens to use public land for urban agriculture on a temporary basis and setting out conditions of access, use and care. The aim is revalorise abandoned public spaces and to facilitate more small-scale family farming in the interests of food security, environmental stewardship, and enhanced biodiversity.

When it was introduced

The law was adopted in 2018.

Why it was needed

It was necessary because the 2014 Municipal Food Security Law of La Paz (No. 105/2014) acknowledged the need to strengthen local food supply and encourage urban agriculture, but there was no legal framework for access to public land.

Who initiated it, who is involved

The Municipal Secretariat of Environment led on the new law, with the support of the Municipal Food Security Committee, made up of representatives of various municipal secretariats, community associations, NGOs and businesses. Technical specialists are involved in implementing the law, and officers from the municipal executive attend training workshops.

Impacts to date

No impacts are available as the law is in the process of implementation.

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Food System

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a significant number of interconnected objectives related to agriculture and food.

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