Urban agriculture and environmental imagination

Authored by: Samantha Noll

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of the City

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138928787
eBook ISBN: 9781315681597
Adobe ISBN:


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Food production historically played an important role in cities, and this role is increasingly being rediscovered by local food advocates in contemporary urban areas. For example, prior to the adoption of the automobile, cities were sites of intense agricultural production, with food production, processing, and distribution occurring throughout the larger cityscape. More broadly, depending on the context, there was typically a network between cities and a larger radius of agricultural production, sustained by the urban area’s steady supply of cheap fertilizer. Today, urban agricultural initiatives take on many manifestations and are informed by a wide range of goals and values. For example, some projects focus on providing consumers with farm-fresh produce, while others attempt to improve urban citizens’ access to foodstuffs, increasing the food sovereignty of marginalized urban communities, and so forth. Philosophical literature on this topic provides an important analysis of these values, teasing out and making explicit the various normative, metaphysical, and justice frameworks guiding urban agricultural projects.

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