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Africa: Urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health in a sample of Tanzanian town folk

In short, we identified urban agriculture as one channel through which dietary diversity can be increased and, ultimately, improved child health can be achieved in the cities of developing countries.

By Natascha Wagner & Luca Tasciotti
Canadian Journal of Development Studies
Nov 27, 2017

Abstract:

Undernutrition and micronutrient deficiency continue to be two of the major health burdens in less developed economies. In this study, we explore the link between urban agriculture, dietary diversity and child health, using weight-for-age and height-for-age Z-scores. The study makes use of two rounds of observational data for urban Tanzania and employs an instrumental variables estimation approach. We show that practising urban agriculture leads to the consumption of a greater variety of food items and the health status of urban children living in households practising urban agriculture significantly improves in the short and, more importantly, long term.

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December 10, 2017   No Comments

Special Issue: ‘Food growing in the city’ – Landscape and Urban Planning

Click image to see larger file. Demonstration garden, Bryant Park, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, New York, New York. Visitors studying gardening notices. Photo shows Bryant Park with New York Public Library; two boys, one on roller skates, and a man reading the notices. Garden is a project by the National War Garden Commission, 1918. Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer.

Taken together, the papers suggest that urban agriculture models need to be recognised more widely within mainstream urban planning and the urban development process.

Landscape and Urban Planning
Volume 170, February 2018, Pages 1-5
(Must see. Mike)

Food growing in the city: Exploring the productive urban landscape as a new paradigm for inclusive approaches to the design and planning of future urban open spaces

By Richard Coles, Sandra Costa

Abstract:

This special issue considers food growing in the city. It presents a series of papers which explore the interface between urban growing initiatives and the planned city, and identifies the development of the movement in different world regions and situations. It explores the characteristics of different food growing and urban gardening scenarios regarding the inherent properties of the urban agriculture/food growing complex as an urban movement, its drivers and the niche that it occupies within the city.

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December 8, 2017   No Comments

Korea: University Rooftop Provides Food and Rainwater Storage

Engineers of Seoul National University made a special green-roof in their campus. The green-roof can storage rainwater, absorb heat energy and grow vegetable.

Professor Mooyoung Han’s Paper Presented at Sesttle’s Cities Alive Conference, 2017

By Professor Mooyoung Han
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Eng.
#35-302 Seoul National University
#1 Daehakro Kwanakgu, Seoul, Korea
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

There are additional social benefits which cannot be quantified. This vegetable garden became a place for communication between school and local residents. Every month, participants of urban farming on #35-dong green roof gather, share their harvested crops. Three big events at the green roofs became regular: Potato harvesting and sharing at the end of June, Full moon festival with traditional Korean rice cake making at Aug 15, in lunar calendar, and Kimchi making and sharing with foreign students at the end of November. Students, professors, local neighbors, and foreign students participate and enjoy the culture and sharing.

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November 21, 2017   Comments Off on Korea: University Rooftop Provides Food and Rainwater Storage

Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?

Figure 1. Map of Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana. Source: Nchanji et al. (2017).

Whatever the solution to the impending problems of governance in urban agriculture will be, it will be difficult to implement them, as actors interest are varied and conflicting. For example, chiefs are taking advantage of urbanisation and its valuable land markets to allocate agricultural lands for residential and commercial purposes, reducing lands used by farmers for farming.

By Eileen Bogweh Nchanji
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August Universität, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(11),
November 2017

Abstract:

Urban farming takes advantage of its proximity to market, transport and other urban infrastructure to provide food for the city and sustain the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban dwellers. It is an agricultural activity which employs more than 50% of the local urban population with positive and negative impacts on local and national development. Urban agriculture is an informal activity not supported by law but in practice is regulated to a certain extent by state institutions, traditional rulers, farmers and national and international non-governmental organisations. Tamale’s rapid population growth, exacerbated by the unplanned development system and institutional conflicts, are factors contributing to the present bottlenecks in the urban agricultural system.

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November 20, 2017   Comments Off on Africa: Sustainable Urban Agriculture in Ghana: What Governance System Works?

Finland: Farming the city. Creating opportunities for urban agriculture in Helsinki. How can architects engage?

(Photo via Sophia E. Hagolani-Albov, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

Architects can contribute as facilitators in the discourse. They can have different roles: as initiators when creating favourable conditions for a practice to start and operate, as mediators between practitioners, authorities and citizens, as well as curators or advisors supporting UA practices.

By Moinel, Caroline
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master’s thesis
Aalto University
2017

Abstract:

This master’s thesis explores urban agriculture typologies and their respective potentials to increase urban quality of life, ecosystem services, and urban experiences for citizens; while also analysing how architects can contribute to create opportunities for the development of urban agriculture.

Urban agriculture has remerged in developed cities over the last fifteen years in a variety of forms and scales, empowering people to access local and healthy food, while creating a sense of place and community. The contemporary movement of urban agriculture started as a response to global sustainability challenges and a strong wish to place food at the centre of urban agendas. This re-emergence also reflects an ongoing participatory urban culture movement and the redefinition of public urban spaces and urban life.

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November 11, 2017   Comments Off on Finland: Farming the city. Creating opportunities for urban agriculture in Helsinki. How can architects engage?

Sierra Club: The Garden, Reconsidered

Photo By Casarsaguru/Istock.

The garden is no exemplar of how to create a right relationship with life on Earth

By Jason Mark
Sierra Club
Oct 21 2017

Excerpt:

Make no mistake: The garden is an unethical place. Even the virtuous garden—which is to say, a garden tended with an eye toward striking some balance with other plants and animals—ultimately disregards other species in favor of human hungers.

Take Alemany Farm. When we find a gopher eating our potatoes, we set a trap to kill the offender. We target slugs and snails, and set out baited snares to capture and kill coddling moths. When we spot a weed that may be competing with our crops, we rip it out by the roots, then unceremoniously toss it in the compost pile. It’s all organic, sure; every bit of it is a calculated killing.

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on Sierra Club: The Garden, Reconsidered

Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities – a 2016 survey of California seed libraries

The first quantitative look at seed libraries

By Daniela Soleri, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Geography Department
UC Santa Barbara
Agric Hum Values
August 2017

Abstract:

Seed libraries (SLs) are institutions that support the creation of semi-formal seed systems, but are often intended to address larger issues that are part of the “food movement” in the global north. Over 100 SLs are reported present in California. I describe a functional framework for studying and comparing seed systems, and use that to investigate the social and biological characteristics of California SLs in 2016 and how they are contributing to alternative seed systems based on interviews with 45 SL managers.

At a minimum, SLs function as new seed distribution institutions founded and overseen by dedicated, values-driven individuals and groups with goals including education, seed access, local adaptation, biodiversity conservation, community- building, and human health.

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September 30, 2017   Comments Off on Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities – a 2016 survey of California seed libraries

Urban Agriculture in the Neoliberal City: Critical European Perspectives

In the Garden. by James Charles 1904.

Themed Section (5 papers): Food planning – Special section on urban agriculture now published in ACME

ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies
Vol 16, No 2 (2017)
Guest Eds.McClintock & Darly

Introduction to Urban Agriculture in the Neoliberal City: Critical European Perspectives
Ségolène Darly, Nathan McClintock

Between Green Image Production, Participatory Politics and Growth: Urban Agriculture and Gardens in the Context of Neoliberal Urban Development in Vienna
Sarah Kumnig

Abstract

Vienna is a green city. Around 50% of the urban area is green space, there are 630 farms and the number of community gardens is constantly growing. Not only do activists try to reclaim the city by cultivating vegetables on fallow land, but even the new urban development plan presents urban gardening as an innovative impulse for the city. At the same time agricultural spaces are increasingly under pressure because of population growth and a construction boom. This paper offers a thorough analysis of the implications that neoliberal urban development has for agricultural spaces and practices in Vienna.

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August 1, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture in the Neoliberal City: Critical European Perspectives

Post-Disaster Food and Nutrition from Urban Agriculture: A Self-Sufficiency Analysis of Nerima Ward, Tokyo

Figure 9. Disaster drill held in Nerima ward. (a) Urban farmland with a high diversity in crops; (b) Farmer and volunteers preparing soup with fresh vegetables from the farm in a portable gas stove; (c) Rice and crackers provided by the municipality as emergency food with freshly made soup containing vegetables from the farm; (d) People from the neighborhood familiarizing with each other and the farmer (photographs by the authors, November 2016).

The present study aimed to quantify the potential nutrient production of urban agricultural vegetables and the resulting nutritional self-sufficiency throughout the year for mitigating post-disaster situations.

By Giles Bruno Sioen, OrcID, Makiko Sekiyama, Toru Terada and Makoto Yokohari
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Abstract:

Background: Post-earthquake studies from around the world have reported that survivors relying on emergency food for prolonged periods of time experienced several dietary related health problems. The present study aimed to quantify the potential nutrient production of urban agricultural vegetables and the resulting nutritional self-sufficiency throughout the year for mitigating post-disaster situations. Methods: We estimated the vegetable production of urban agriculture throughout the year. Two methods were developed to capture the production from professional and hobby farms: Method I utilized secondary governmental data on agricultural production from professional farms, and Method II was based on a supplementary spatial analysis to estimate the production from hobby farms. Next, the weight of produced vegetables [t] was converted into nutrients [kg].

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July 16, 2017   Comments Off on Post-Disaster Food and Nutrition from Urban Agriculture: A Self-Sufficiency Analysis of Nerima Ward, Tokyo

Brazil: An Urban farm at Curitiba, Parana-Brazil

Figura 6: Trecho da Horta Santa Rita IV no bairro Tatuquara.

A agricultura urbana e suas múltiplas funções: a experiência do Programa Lavoura da prefeitura de Curitiba-PR

By Ferrareto, Luciane Cristina. Urban Agriculture and its multiple functions: the experience of Agriculture Program Curitiba – PR City. 143p. Dissertation ((Post-Graduate Program of Social Sciences in Development, Agriculture and Society). Instituto de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ. 2015.

Abstract:

The research aims to analyse how urban agriculture dialogues with other concepts and political action: food and nutrition security; food supply, health and nutrition; urban planning and the relation between country and city. These concepts and actions are shown connected througt the urban agriculture production practice performed and analyzed from the Agriculture Program of Curitiba.PR.

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July 10, 2017   Comments Off on Brazil: An Urban farm at Curitiba, Parana-Brazil

Brazil: Public action and networks around Urban Agriculture in Sao Paulo, Montreal and Toronto

Work in progress: Documentary about urban food systems in Brazil, Canada and France.

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

By Lya Cynthia Porto De Oliveira
Public Administration and Government Study Center, at Getulio Vargas Foundation, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Paper is in Portuguese.

Abstract:

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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June 23, 2017   Comments Off on Brazil: Public action and networks around Urban Agriculture in Sao Paulo, Montreal and Toronto

The trouble with temporary: Impacts and pitfalls of a meanwhile community garden in Wythenshawe, South Manchester

The Macmillan community garden polytunnel.

This paper focuses on research conducted at a community garden in Wythenshawe, established by Real Food Wythenshawe as an example of a ‘meanwhile’ or temporary growing site for people affected by cancer.

By Rebecca St. Clair, Michael Hardman, Richard P. Armitage and Graeme Sherriff
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Cambridge University Press
June 6, 2017

Abstract:

The rise of Urban Agriculture projects across the UK has led to a surge of interest in their efficacy and resulting social impacts. Real Food Wythenshawe is a Lottery-funded urban food project in the UK that aims to teach the population of Wythenshawe to grow their own food and to cook from scratch. The area, popularly referred to as ‘Europe’s largest council estate’, suffers from high levels of deprivation and has been described as a ‘food desert’ due to a perceived lack of access to fresh fruit and vegetables (Small World Consulting, 2013). In order to encourage Wythenshawe residents to grow their own food and to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables, Real Food Wythenshawe aims to transform unused areas of land into growing spaces, such as allotments and community gardens.

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June 12, 2017   Comments Off on The trouble with temporary: Impacts and pitfalls of a meanwhile community garden in Wythenshawe, South Manchester

The potential for urban household vegetable gardens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

David Cleveland in his home garden. Photo Credit: Daniela Soleri

UCSB research professor David Cleveland and his students model the effect of household gardens on greenhouse gas emissions

By Julie Cohen
The UC Santa Barbara Current
September 6, 2016
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Want to help mitigate global climate change? Grow some veggies.

Turning lawn into a vegetable garden can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by UC Santa Barbara research professor David Cleveland.

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April 15, 2017   Comments Off on The potential for urban household vegetable gardens to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Fonctionnement Et Durabilité des micro-fermes urbaines

Une Observation Participative Sur Le Cas Des Fermes Franciliennes

By Anne-Cécile Daniel
Ingénieure d’études en Agriculture Urbaine
Étude Menée Dans Le Cadre De La Chaire Eco-Conception Avec
Agroparistech Et L’équipe Agricultures Urbaines (Sad-Apt, Inra)
Mars 2017

Introduction:

Si l’agriculture urbaine est une notion de plus en plus évoquée par les institutions, les entreprises, les associations, les collectivités, les citoyens, les politiques, c’est qu’elle a certainement l’audace de vouloir créer une intelligence commune entre l’aména¬gement urbain et l’activité agricole et jardinière. Autrement dit, il s’agit d’offrir des solutions concrètes pour rendre nos villes plus durables et vivables. Dans une autre mesure, l’agri¬culture urbaine s’apparente à une des solutions possibles pour préparer les villes au changement climatique et tendre vers des systèmes alimentaires locaux.

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March 10, 2017   Comments Off on Fonctionnement Et Durabilité des micro-fermes urbaines

Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties

The addition of organic fertilizers tended to increase most enzyme activities and available nutrients in the soils, as compared to that of inorganic fertilizers

By Avanthi Deshani Igalavithana, Sang Soo Lee, Nabeel Khan Niazi, Young-Han Lee, Kye Hoon Kim, Jeoung-Hun Park, Deok Hyun Moon, and Yong Sik Ok
Sustainability
Feb 20, 2017

Abstract:

Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, ?-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition.

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February 25, 2017   Comments Off on Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties