Tous les articles par Eric Duchemin

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."

Tags:

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.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

Zero-Acreage Farming in the City of Berlin: An Aggregated Stakeholder Perspective on Potential Benefits and Challenges

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. The aim was to identify the most suitable building-integrated farming model for the Berlin metropolitan area and to develop guidelines for the model’s successful and sustainable implementation through a stakeholder-driven approach. This paper provides an aggregated synthesis of the outcomes derived from the qualitative interviews and stakeholder workshops. As the results reveal, the stakeholders perceive potential benefits and challenges related to the issue of ZFarming in all dimensions (economic, social, environmental and political). They largely agreed on the importance of focusing on local resources, using energy-efficient production—including social and educational aspects—and developing new market structures when introducing ZFarming to the city of Berlin. The stakeholders identified urban rooftop greenhouses (RTG) as the most promising farming model for Berlin. In a joint collaboration of all stakeholders, a manual for RTG was developed within the participatory innovation process that addresses the identified problems and challenges associated with future implementation and governance of RTG in Berlin and beyond.

Tags:

URBAN ROOFTOP FARMING IN BERLIN AND BARCELONA : WHAT RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES DO KEY STAKEHOLDERS PERCEIVE?

Urban rooftop farming (URF) projects have been set up or planned by non‐profit initiatives or business entrepreneurs in the cities of Berlin (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain) over the last few years. Beyond the already‐established types of urban agriculture (UA) (such as allotments or school gardens), these “new forms” of UA are attracting increasing interest that can be observed in both cities. According to their proponents, they are supposed to provide potential benefits in the urban setting. At the same time, they are connected to a number of associated problems, uncertainties and risks, which constrain their social acceptability.  

Tags:

Self-provisioning, Sustainability and Environmental Consciousness in Brno Allotment Gardens

This paper seeks to contribute to the topic of alternative food production, which has attracted the attention of both scholars and practitioners in the last years, together with the increasingly stronger critique of the current food system. In the past, allotment gardens played an important role in cities’ food self-sufficiency, however they are often omitted from the current food production debate. In the Czech Republic, as well as other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries...

Tags:

Gardens and health implications for policy and practice

This report was commissioned by the National Gardens Scheme in 2015. Its intention is to contribute to the understanding, assessment and development of the links between gardens, gardening and health. It sets out the evidence base on how gardens and gardening relate to health across the life-course. It highlights how, at different points in the health and social care system, gardens and gardening can make a strong contribution to keeping us well and independent.

Tags:

Urban agriculture and the sustainability fix in Vancouver and Detroit

Both Vancouver, British Columbia, and Detroit, Michigan, have significant and growing urban agriculture movements. In this article, I follow recent work investigating the connection between urban agriculture and neoliberalization to determine how these local governments have used urban agriculture in narratives of economic development to selectively pursue a sustainability fix. I analyze how different regimes of local governance have influenced the urban agriculture movements, leading to local, hybridized fixes that adapt to different material and discursive contexts in each place. I argue that in both cities, urban agriculture has radical potential as a grassroots response to economic and environmental injustice, but has also been enrolled as a device by the local state in which the primary goal of sustainability planning becomes enhanced economic competitiveness. Pursuing an agenda of food justice requires examining the larger context and effects of municipal involvement with food movements. (2016). Urban agriculture and the sustainability fix in Vancouver and Detroit. Urban Geography: Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 163-182. doi: 10.1080/02723638.2015.1056606

Tags:

The City as an « Agricultural Powerhouse »? Perspectives on Expanding Urban Agriculture from Detroit, Michigan

In recent years urban agriculture has received increasing support as a strategy for food security and urban sustainability. Scholars have explored motivations for and experiences of individual community gardens, but there is little understanding of how more extensive urban agriculture activities might be perceived among residents or might integrate with the cityscape. This research explores ways in which urban agriculture might be perceived in relation to the urban eco-system and sociopolitical context through semi-structured interviews and focus groups in Detroit, Michigan. Results reveal widespread support for expanding urban agriculture and highlight the lines along which such expansion may be contested, including the extent to which it should occur, the purpose it would serve, and the people it would involve.(2012). The City as an 'Agricultural Powerhouse'? Perspectives on Expanding Urban Agriculture from Detroit, Michigan. Urban Geography: Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 348-369. doi: 10.2747/0272-3638.33.3.348

Tags:

Restoring Urban Fringe Landscapes through Urban Agriculture: The Japanese Experience

This paper advocates the re-establishment of garden zones both in and around cities. Mixed land-use garden zones are conceptualized as spaces where urban residents can craft their own local food cultures and agro-biographies in response to the globalization of agriculture and food consumption. The case for creating garden zones is made by first outlining the legacy of post-war growth and planning policies, which attempted to clearly demarcate the line between urban and agricultural use. And, second, investigating the current demographic shifts which threaten the existence of domestic agricultural production and necessitate a new pro-urban agriculture planning paradigm. To develop this new planning paradigm, the third section looks back at the city of Edo to identify the urban agricultural heritage of what is now the modern-day megalopolis of Tokyo. The fourth section demonstrates the need for multifunctional green spaces by presenting a number of examples of agro-activities in both urban and suburban areas of the greater Tokyo area. The final section concludes the paper with a discussion of the need for a new type of garden zone: a hybrid zone where the mixing of urban and agricultural uses is encouraged. (2010). Restoring Urban Fringe Landscapes through Urban Agriculture: The Japanese Experience. disP - The Planning Review: Vol. 46, Metropolitan Peripheries, pp. 51-59. doi: 10.1080/02513625.2010.10557086

Tags:

Urban Agriculture Toolkit

Urban farmers, federal and city government agencies, and local organizations around the country have developed a variety of tools to help address those challenges and assist the growth of agriculture in cities. This toolkit makes these resources available to anyone interested in participating in urban farming. The toolkit lays out the common operational elements that most urban farmers must consider as they start up or grow their operations. It also contains a special section on resources for developing indoor growing operations, such as aquaponic facilities. For each element, the toolkit identifies technical and financial resources that have been developed by federal, state, and local partners. While some of the elements require local-level solutions (e.g. zoning), federal programs and services can support a variety of activities related to urban farming.

Tags: