Something about tomatoes draws people together. Or corn, apples or any produce. Most workplaces, schools and churches enjoy the home gardening bounty brought in by avid gardeners eager to share nutritious gifts.

It's fun, generous and very, very Midwestern.

Making this a part of community development and urban design strikes us as low-tech genius. Davenport city designer Darrin Nordahl established a corner plot near his City Design Center office at 2nd and Brady Streets. Now aldermen have OK'd a parking plaza makeover at 5th and Brady streets that will include fruits and vegetables among landscaping plants.

Nordahl wrote the book on urban agriculture. Literally. "Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture" comes out Sept. 25 and "profiles urban food growing efforts, illustrating that there is both a need and a desire to supplement our existing food production methods outside the city with opportunities inside the city," according to publisher Island Press.

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Those opportunities won't resolve world hunger. But they will bring people together to plant, tend, harvest and share in public, urban places. And that builds community, the network that elevates great towns above the average.

We're impressed with Nordahl's national leadership on this issue, and more impressed by his hands-on efforts here. His passion has created another Davenport distinction.

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