Sustainability | Free Full-Text | Urban Gardeners’ Motivations in a Metropolitan City: The Case of Milan

Urban gardening (UG) as a component of urban agriculture (UA) has reached popularity during the last decades. This growing interest depends on several factors including the different functions that have been attributed to UG over the years, operating from the economic to the social, health and cultural levels. While multifunctionality of UG is well documented, only a few studies investigated individual gardeners’ motivations, which can be subjective and heavily affected by the local context in which it takes place. The paper aims to detect some peculiar features of Milan city gardeners, in order to highlight the motivations of their activity through an innovative and replicable approach based on multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA). The analysis has been applied to the Milan case study, in the North of Italy; the results suggest a great importance of the social component of UG, and trace some different gardeners’ profiles.

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Home-grown: Gardens, practices and motivations in urban domestic vegetable production

Food production is of symbolic and practical importance in sustainable cities. Vegetable gardening in public spaces and community gardens is better understood than the same activity on private residential property. In suburbanised western cities most vegetable production is likely to be on private blocks. To increase vegetable production in cities, we need to understand private vegetable growing. We used a questionnaire administered in person with a diverse sample of 101 gardeners in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia to determine variation in gardens, gardening practices and gardener motivations, relationships between them, and potential for planning and other interventions to increase domestic vegetable production. Vegetable gardens varied from highly species-rich to species-poor and from staple production to expressions of culinary fashion. Gardening practices varied from integrated, organic and displayed, to strongly constructed and reliant on synthetic inputs. While all respondents were motivated to grow vegetables for pleasure, many were activists who wished to promote social change, while others wished to ensure affordable access to vegetables or to improve health. Activist gardeners used integrated organic or permacultural practices and produced highly complex garden outcomes. With the exceptions of the activists and food fashionistas, garden type, gardening practice and gardener motivation were not strongly interlinked. A large majority of respondents identified family members as important sources of information and inspiration. Gardeners without family role models were either influenced by new food cultures or were on low-incomes and wanted affordable access to vegetables. This latter group could be expanded through appropriate education and incentives.

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Redes, Ideias E Ação Pública Na Agricultura Urbana: São Paulo, Montreal E Toronto. São Paulo 2017

This thesis deals with an analysis of different Urban Agriculture (UA) models of public action. The theoretical model adopted is the cognitive analysis of public action, based on Pierre Muller and Yves Surel, and the actor-network theory by Bruno Latour. The purpose of the thesis is to understand the relationship dynamics between ideas, organizations, networks of action and results in the field of UA public action. The results are understood as basic services for Urban Agriculture, that were defined according to the literature analysis in this field, and it can be offered by state and/or civil society organizations. Based on the literature review of 21 different cities, four different types of public action were identified.

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Redes, Ideias E Ação Pública Na Agricultura Urbana: São Paulo, Montreal E Toronto. São Paulo 2017

This thesis deals with an analysis of different Urban Agriculture (UA) models of public action. The theoretical model adopted is the cognitive analysis of public action, based on Pierre Muller and Yves Surel, and the actor-network theory by Bruno Latour. The purpose of the thesis is to understand the relationship dynamics between ideas, organizations, networks of action and results in the field of UA public action. The results are understood as basic services for Urban Agriculture, that were defined according to the literature analysis in this field, and it can be offered by state and/or civil society organizations. Based on the literature review of 21 different cities, four different types of public action were identified.

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Cultivating (a) Sustainability Capital: Urban Agriculture, Ecogentrification, and the Uneven Valorization of Social Reproduction: Annals of the American Association of Geographers: Vol 0, No 0

Urban agriculture (UA), for many activists and scholars, plays a prominent role in food justice struggles in cities throughout the Global North, a site of conflict between use and exchange values and rallying point for progressive claims to the right to the city. Recent critiques, however, warn of its contribution to gentrification and displacement. With the use–exchange value binary no longer as useful an analytic as it once was, geographers need to better understand UA's contradictory relations to capital, particularly in the neoliberal sustainable city. To this end, I bring together feminist theorizations of social reproduction, Bourdieu's “species of capital” and critical geographies of race to help demystify UA's entanglement in processes of ecogentrification. In this primarily theoretical contribution, I argue that concrete labor embedded in household-scale UA—a socially reproductive practice—becomes cultural capital that a sustainable city's growth coalition in turn valorizes as symbolic sustainability capital used to extract rent and burnish the city's brand at larger scales. The valorization of UA occurs, by necessity, in a variegated manner; spatial agglomerations of UA and the ecohabitus required for its misrecognition as sustainability capital arise as a function of the interplay between rent gaps and racialized othering. I assert that ecogentrification is not only a contradiction emerging from an urban sustainability fix but is central to how racial capitalism functions through green urbanization. Like its contribution to ecogentrification, I conclude, UA's emancipatory potential is also spatially variegated.

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Urban migrant women’s everyday food insecurity coping strategies foster alternative urban imaginaries of a more democratic food system: Urban Geography: Vol 0, No 0

Urban migrant women worldwide utilize a creative combination of food insecurity coping strategies to procure food for themselves and their families. Using in-depth interviews with 72 migrant women in Medellín, Colombia, and Washington, DC, this paper argues that in low-income urban communities these everyday strategies can further their demands for autonomy in determining what foods they produce and consume. Relying on feminist geography and food sovereignty literature, this research explores how migrant women living in poverty rely on informal networks for growing and sharing food, seek out organic, fresh foods, and utilize independent survival strategies to counter exclusionary rhetoric and a food system they view as unhealthy. In doing so, they devise alternative urban imaginaries of a more democratic food system. This research contributes a more nuanced understanding of the food insecurity experiences of urban migrant women.

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L’appréhension de l’agriculture urbaine par le droit français

L’intégration de l’agriculture dans la ville n’apparaît pas comme une évidence juridique. Au contraire, la ville est habituellement considérée comme l’ennemi de l’agriculture : elle s’étale, elle morcelle les terres agricoles et met en danger l’agriculture périurbaine. Un véritable arsenal juridique s’adresse, non sans raison, à l’agriculture tant dans ses dimensions spatiales que dans ses pratiques, mais l’exercice de cette activité en milieu dense urbain se révèle très largement ignoré par le droit. Pourtant, l’agriculture en milieu dense urbain s’impose peu à peu, tant dans les concepts que dans les faits, et ce phénomène dont les manifestations se multiplient, appelle à un renouveau des fondements ruralistes du droit de l’agriculture, sinon à la reconnaissance juridique de l’agriculture urbaine en tant que telle.

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Designing Urban Agriculture Education for Social Justice: Radical Innovation through Farm School NYC.pdf | Kristin Reynolds – Academia.edu

This article examines one example of radical innovation and everyday design through a case study of Farm School NYC, an adult education programme in New York City that uses critical pedagogy and popular education to train adult students in urban farming, social justice advocacy and teaching skills. Drawing primarily from research conducted between 2013 and 2014 for a study on urban agriculture and social justice activism, the article illustrates how a network of urban agriculture practitioners, educators and activists created a community-based training programme that takes steps towards a broad vision of a socially just urban food system and that this represents a case of everyday design by radical innovation. It argues that understanding ways in which projects like Farm School NYC infuse radical visions of social change into their day-to-day educational activities is useful for those inter-ested in supporting such transformative work through teaching, farming and gardening and design.

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The Intersection of Planning, Urban Agriculture, and Food Justice: A Review of the Literature: Journal of the American Planning Association: Vol 83, No 3

"We draw on a multidisciplinary body of research to consider how planning for urban agriculture can foster food justice by benefitting socioeconomically disadvantaged residents. The potential social benefits of urban agriculture include increased access to food, positive health impacts, skill building, community development, and connections to broader social change efforts. The literature suggests, however, caution in automatically conflating urban agriculture’s social benefits with the goals of food justice. Urban agriculture may reinforce and deepen societal inequities by benefitting better resourced organizations and the propertied class and contributing to the displacement of lower-income households. The precariousness of land access for urban agriculture is another limitation, particularly for disadvantaged communities. Planners have recently begun to pay increased attention to urban agriculture but should more explicitly support the goals of food justice in their urban agriculture policies and programs."

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Cultivating citizenship, equity, and social inclusion? Putting civic agriculture into practice through urban farming

"Civic agriculture is an approach to agriculture and food production that—in contrast with the industrial food system—is embedded in local environmental, social, and economic contexts. Alongside proliferation of the alternative food projects that characterize civic agriculture, growing literature critiques how their implementation runs counter to the ideal of civic agriculture. This study assesses the relevance of three such critiques to urban farming, aiming to understand how different farming models balance civic and economic exchange, prioritize food justice, and create socially inclusive spaces. Using a case study approach that incorporated interviews, participant observation, and document review, I compare two urban farms in Baltimore, Maryland—a “community farm” that emphasizes community engagement, and a “commercial farm” that focuses on job creation. Findings reveal the community farm prioritizes civic participation and food access for low-income residents, and strives to create socially inclusive space. However, the farmers’ “outsider” status challenges community engagement efforts. The commercial farm focuses on financial sustainability rather than participatory processes or food equity, reflecting the use of food production as a means toward community development rather than propagation of a food citizenry. Both farms meet authentic needs that contribute to neighborhood improvement, though findings suggest a lack of interest by residents in obtaining urban farm food, raising concerns about its appeal and accessibility to diverse consumers. Though not equally participatory, equitable, or social inclusive, both farms exemplify projects physically and philosophically rooted in the local social context, necessary characteristics for promoting civic engagement with the food system."

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9e édition de l’École d’été sur l’agriculture urbaine de Montréal (Québec, Canada)

École d’été sur l’agriculture urbaine de Montréal : 9 années de formation, de réseautage, et d'intervention. Plus de 1600 participantes et participants qui maintenant font la ville nourricière de demain. Pour une 9e édition, du 14 au 18 août 2017, se tiendra à l'Université du Québec à Montréal, l’École d’été sur l’agriculture urbaine du Laboratoire d'agriculture urbaine (AU/LAB) organisée avec la collaboration de l’Institut des sciences de l’environnement de l’UQÀM (ISE). Un rendez-vous devenu incontournable aussi bien au Québec qu’à l’international qui attire chaque année plus de 200 participant(e)s dans un heureux mélange de complicité, d’échanges, de connaissances et d’appel à l’action. Rassemblant des citoyen(ne)s, des chercheur(e)s, des étudiant(e)s, des entrepreneur(e)s, des acteur(trice)s de l’agriculture urbaine et des professionnel(le)s de divers horizons, cette école d’été a pour vocation de susciter des débats, des rencontres et un partage d’expériences. Cette année, nous explorerons le rôle de l'agriculture urbaine comme outil de réappropriation de la ville et plus particulièrement sur les questions d’espace et d’alimentation. Force est de constater qu’au cours des dernières décennies, les processus d’urbanisation ont éloigné l’urbain de son territoire et de son alimentation, les deux étant intimement liés. L’urbain a donc, dans bien des cas, aucun accès à la terre se limitant ainsi à l’offre commerciale présente à proximité de sa résidence pour s’alimenter. Comment redonner cet accès à la « terre »? Comment redonner le pouvoir aux urbains de se nourrir par eux-mêmes? L’agriculture urbaine apparait depuis quelques années comme un outil pertinent de réappropriation individuelle et collective du territoire et de l’alimentation allant même jusqu’à la création d’entreprise dans le domaine. Mais comment les jardinier(e)s urbain(e)s s’y prennent-ils? Est-ce que cette « appropriation » de l’espace à des fins agricoles rentre en conflit avec d’autres usages? Comment des groupes utilisent-ils l'agriculture urbaine pour des actions tactiques de rénovation urbaine ? Quelle place pour l’agriculture en ville considérant les autres fonctions de la ville, dont l’habitation et la culture? Comment créer une mixité de ces usages? Cette année encore, la formation s’organisera autour d’un apprentissage théorique et pratique qui s’appuiera sur l’intervention de spécialistes autour de tables rondes, de retour d’expérience, d’ateliers pratiques et de visites sur le terrain. Une place importante sera aussi accordée aux échanges et discussions, ainsi qu’aux interactions entre les intervenant(e)s et les participant(e)s. Nous espérons que vous trouverez durant cette 9e École d'été des connaissances et de l’inspiration pour poursuivre ou initier des projets en agriculture urbaine, chez vous, à votre travail, dans les écoles, dans votre quartier ou qui sait, démarrer votre propre entreprise agricole urbaine! 1 FORMATION, 3 VOLETS Pour cette 9e édition, l'équipe de l'école d'été offre 3 volets de formation. Le choix d’un volet permettra de diviser le groupe pour les journées du mardi, mercredi et jeudi; les journées du lundi et vendredi étant en tronc commun général.

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Agricultures urbaines durables : vecteur pour la transition écologique

Le colloque international « Agricultures urbaines durables » propose six sessions scientifiques, chacune avec des sous-sessions et des tables rondes avec les différents acteurs (agriculteurs, chercheurs, élus, étudiants, associations, consultants). Le colloque vise une valorisation scientifique et pédagogique multi-supports.

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Risks in urban rooftop agriculture: Assessing stakeholders’ perceptions to ensure efficient policymaking

Rooftop agriculture (RA) is an innovative form of urban agriculture that takes advantage of unused urban spaces while promoting local food production. However, the implementation of RA projects is limited due to stakeholders’ perceived risks. Such risks should be addressed and minimized in policymaking processes to ensure the sustainable deployment of RA initiatives. This paper evaluates the risks that stakeholders perceive in RA and compares these perceptions with the currently available knowledge, including scientific literature, practices and market trends. Qualitative interviews with 56 stakeholders from Berlin and Barcelona were analyzed for this purpose. The results show that perceived risks can be grouped into five main categories: i) risks associated with urban integration (e.g., conflicts with images of “agriculture”), ii) risks associated with the production system (e.g., gentrification potential), iii) risks associated with food products (e.g., soil-less growing techniques are “unnatural”), iv) environmental risks (e.g., limited organic certification) and v) economic risks (e.g., competition with other rooftop uses). These risks are primarily related to a lack of (scientific) knowledge, insufficient communication and non-integrative policymaking. We offer recommendations for efficient project design and policymaking processes. In particular, demonstration and dissemination activities as well as participatory policymaking can narrow the communication gap between RA developers and citizens.

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Towards Regenerated and Productive Vacant Areas through Urban Horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy

In recent years, urban agriculture has been asserting its relevance as part of a vibrant and diverse food system due to its small scale, its focus on nutrition, its contribution to food security, its employment opportunities, and its role in community building and social mobility. Urban agriculture may also be a tool to re-appropriate a range of abandoned or unused irregular spaces within the city, including flowerbeds, roundabouts, terraces, balconies and rooftops. Consistently, all spaces that present a lack of identity may be converted to urban agriculture areas and, more specifically, to urban horticulture as a way to strengthen resilience and sustainability. The goal of this paper is to analyse current practices in the requalification of vacant areas as urban gardens with the aim of building communities and improving landscapes and life quality. To do so, the city of Bologna (Italy) was used as a case study. Four types of vacant areas were identified as places for implementing urban gardens: flowerbeds along streets and squares, balconies and rooftops, abandoned buildings and abandoned neighbourhoods. Six case studies representing this variety of vacant areas were identified and evaluated by collecting primary data (i.e., field work, participant observations and interviews) and performing a SWOT analysis. For most cases, urban horticulture improved the image and quality of the areas as well as bringing numerous social benefits in terms of life quality, food access and social interaction among participants. Strong differences in some aspects were found between top-down and bottom-up initiatives, being the later preferable for the engagement of citizens. Policy-making might focus on participatory and transparent planning, long-term actions, food safety and economic development.

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Flatpack Urban Farm – Impact Farm

The IMPACT FARM is a preview of the future of food production. It is a urban pop-up farm with a complete hydroponic growing system that is both productive and eco-effective, resulting in 2-4 tonnes of leafy greens and fruiting vegetables year round using solar energy. In addition it uses 75% less water as from conventional agriculture. The farm is designed as a two story timber greenhouse build around an refurbished 20 ́ shipping container.

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