The Food Movement: Growing White Privilege, Diversity, or Empowerment?

Food systems work is both a stimulus to the growth of the food movement and a response to the concerns of the activists who lead and participate in that movement. In the United States and many other nations, the development of a vocal, articulate, and passionate group of people who are critical of food systems work has led to many changes. However, the food movement lacks diversity representative of the communities in which food systems work takes place. People of color, the poor, and many ethnic and religious minorities remain almost invisible in the food movement. A diversity model approach to food systems work would suggest that the food movement should include people of diverse backgrounds and characteristics, reflect the needs and interests of a diverse society, and respect everyone’s food choices and values in determining solutions and creating alternatives to the current food system. Instead, the food movement most often reflects white, middle class interests, and ignores or even rejects the interests and cultural histories of diverse populations when establishing what constitutes “good food.” We call for an empowerment model that instead embraces diversity and respects the variability in food choices and values within our society. We argue this model will liberate both the underrepresented and underserved and the elite and that the result will be more equitable and lasting solutions to complex social problems in the food system.

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Les Villes du Futur – Volet agriculture urbaine

Multipliant les exemples révélateurs et les interventions d’experts - architectes, économistes, sociologues, entrepreneurs, ingénieurs informatiques, etc. -, cette série documentaire en trois volets offre une immersion passionnante dans l’avenir des villes. De l’Amérique du Nord à l’Asie en passant par l’Europe, ce tour d’horizon des innovations urbaines fantasmées ou en marche s’accompagne d’une réflexion philosophique et politique saisissante sur nos vies citadines, d’ores et déjà placées sous le règne de l’algorithme. Les nouvelles villes, qui se distinguent par leur gestion des plus efficientes, trouveront-elles leur identité ? Faut-il renoncer à la liberté pour assurer la sécurité ? L’informatique favorisera-t-elle les interactions entre les individus ou annonce-t-elle l’avènement d’un pouvoir ultracentralisé ? Des questions fondamentales auxquelles seuls les citoyens, qui expérimentent ces transformations, et à qui le documentaire donne la parole, peuvent répondre.

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Recycling urban waste as possible use for rooftop vegetable garden (Grard et al 2015)

In 2012, a pilot experiment was run in Paris (France). Simple and cheap systems of rooftop gardening were tested on a rooftop using as crop substrates only local urban organic waste so as to contribute to the urban metabolism. Production levels and heavy metal contents in cropping substrates and edible vegetables were measured. Available results show (i) high levels of crop production with limited inputs compared to land professional gardening, (ii) low levels of heavy metal pollutants in the edible parts of the crops, especially for Cd and Pb with respect to EU norms for vegetables and (iii) positive inflence on yields on organizing the substrate in layers and enhancing the biological activity through earthworm inoculation.

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Zero-Acreage Farming in the City of Berlin: An Aggregated Stakeholder Perspective on Potential Benefits and Challenges (Specht et al. 2015)

How can buildings be combined with agricultural production and what are the major potential benefits and challenges for the introduction of zero-acreage farming (ZFarming) in Berlin from the relevant stakeholders’ perspectives? These questions were explored through a series of interviews and stakeholder workshops held between 2011 and 2013.

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How does your garden grow? An empirical evaluation of the costs and potential of urban gardening (CoDyre et al. 2014)

Interesting conclusions from this Canadian studies: "(1) there is impressive potential when only the most productive [gardens] are considered as an illustration of what could be produced; (2) as it is currently practiced, only a fraction of potential production is happening; and (3) for urban self-provisioning to meet its potential, a major increase in the area gardened."

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Assessments on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture | START

"Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) faces significant pressures from rapid urban expansion and related stresses. START and UNEP recently partnered with several organizations to undertake a nine-city assessment of UPA in Africa and Asia. The assessments examined key environmental and governance dimensions of UPA to advance understanding of how increasing urban pressures on land and water resources, and intensifying climate risks, are undermining the resilience of UPA in the face of rapid urban development. "

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Managing change and building resilience: A multi-stressor analysis of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Africa and Asia

"Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is increasingly being promoted as a multi-focal strategy for enhancing urban food security and advancing climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in cities. The extent to which this potential can be realized is circumscribed by access to adequate land and water resources, the degree of recognition of UPA within the urban policy domain, and the ability of producers to effectively navigate the myriad risks associated with food production in urban and peri-urban environments. This paper argues that UPA faces significant interlocking stresses stemming from marginalization of land and water resources, increasing exposure to climate risks, and ineffective policies and poor governance that undermine its long-term potential to address urban food security and climate change adaptation concerns. This paper examines key environmental and governance dimensions of UPA in the context of rapidly growing cities in Africa and Asia, and advances understanding of how increasing urban pressures on land and water resources, and intensifying climate risks, are undermining the resilience of UPA in the face of rapid change. The paper’s findings are drawn from a series of assessments on UPA that were recently conducted in nine cities spanning West and East Africa, and South Asia."

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L’expérience agricole des citadins dans les jardins collectifs urbains : le cas de Montpellier (P. Scheromm)

Les jardins collectifs se multiplient aujourd’hui dans les villes occidentales. À Montpellier, leur essor est lié à la demande des citadins et soutenu par la municipalité. Quarante entretiens semi-directifs ont permis d’identifier les motivations des jardiniers, leurs pratiques agronomiques et leur conception du jardinage et de l’agriculture. Dans ces jardins collectifs, lieux aux fonctions plurielles, une reconnexion des citadins avec l’agriculture s’opère, même si l’objectif de production alimentaire n’y est pas affiché comme une priorité. Cette nature urbaine multi-facettes, promue par les citadins et qui intéresse les politiques urbaines, ne porte-t-elle pas en germe l’amorce d’une nouvelle relation entre ville et agriculture ?

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L’expérience agricole des citadins dans les jardins collectifs urbains : le cas de Montpellier (P. Scheromm)

Les jardins collectifs se multiplient aujourd’hui dans les villes occidentales. À Montpellier, leur essor est lié à la demande des citadins et soutenu par la municipalité. Quarante entretiens semi-directifs ont permis d’identifier les motivations des jardiniers, leurs pratiques agronomiques et leur conception du jardinage et de l’agriculture. Dans ces jardins collectifs, lieux aux fonctions plurielles, une reconnexion des citadins avec l’agriculture s’opère, même si l’objectif de production alimentaire n’y est pas affiché comme une priorité. Cette nature urbaine multi-facettes, promue par les citadins et qui intéresse les politiques urbaines, ne porte-t-elle pas en germe l’amorce d’une nouvelle relation entre ville et agriculture ?

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Growing Food Connections

"Nearly 50 million Americans are considered food insecure according to the United States Department of Agriculture. While many Americans are struggling to gain access to healthful, affordable and culturally acceptable foods, many farmers and ranchers are struggling to remain viable.  With this project, we hope to transform these challenges into opportunities for food producers and communities. We intend to identify innovations in local and regional public policy that strengthen community food systems in order to better support underserved residents and farmers, especially small and mid-sized farmers. The project will build the capacity of local governments and their partners to create, implement and sustain food system plans and policies that simultaneously promote access to healthy, affordable and culturally acceptable food and foster a viable agricultural sector in their communities.  "

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Urban agriculture: long-term strategy or impossible dream? (T. Angotti)

Proponents of urban agriculture have identified its potential to improve health and the environment but in New York City and other densely developed and populated urban areas, it faces huge challenges because of the shortage of space, cost of land, and the lack of contemporary local food production. However, large portions of the city and metropolitan region do have open land and a history of agricultural production in the not-too-distant past. Local food movements and concerns about food security have sparked a growing interest in urban farming. Policies in other sectors to address diet-related illnesses, environmental quality and climate change may also provide opportunities to expand urban farming. Nevertheless, for any major advances in urban agriculture, significant changes in local and regional land use policies are needed. These do not appear to be forthcoming any time soon unless food movements amplify their voices in local and national food policy. Based on his experiences as founder of a small farm in Brooklyn, New York and his engagement with local food movements, the author analyzes obstacles and opportunities for expanding urban agriculture in New York.

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Agriculture urbaine et enjeux de santé

L'agriculture urbaine a le vent en poupe, souvent au nom d'une participation au reverdissement de la ville, de la recréation de liens, entre les urbains et la production agricole et alimentaire, voire entre les urbains eux-mêmes. Mais l'agriculture urbaine comporte, aussi des enjeux de santé importants, qui plaident pour un aménagement urbain favorisant le maintien ou l'installation de cette agriculture dans des conditions environnementales saines.

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Revue POUR: N° spécial Agricultures Urbaines

Après la reconnaissance lente et inachevée des agricultures périurbaines depuis les années 1990, c’est au tour des agricultures urbaines de se trouver sous le feu des projecteurs des chercheurs (géographes, agronomes, architectes paysagistes, économistes, sociologues, etc.) et aujourd’hui des médias, sans oublier les attentes des collectivités locales et les initiatives privées, émanant souvent d’acteurs non issus du monde agricole (entrepreneurs, associations, établissements publics). Le terme « agriculture urbaine » inclut dans ce dossier les pratiques agricoles d’urbains à proximité de la ville ainsi que les exploitations professionnelles et/ou associatives situées aux lisières immédiates du front urbain.

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