The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Urban agriculture

Hunger is expanding not only in rural and remote areas, but also in cities. World wide, one billion people were suffering permanent hunger (2009) and another billion is structurally underfed. "Previously marginalised, urban agriculture (UA) has recently been receiving increasing recognition, and is gradually moving higher on the urban agenda. We witness a certain rapprochement between official agendas and grassroots movements in advocating UA". We define urban agriculture as the sum of food related activities, all along the food chain in the city and its peri-urban region.

Recent activities at the DPU explored innovations that urban actors, and primarily urban farmers and local authorities are experimenting to develop UA. Specific attention was given to land and water management; forms of organisation of farmers; financing of urban agriculture through mobilization of resources, savings, credits and subsidies, and legal and institutional frameworks that facilitate pro-poor urban agriculture.

Based on these past works, current and recent research explore the following questions:

  • To what extent, and under which conditions, urban agriculture can contribute to mitigate hunger in cities, and not be appropriated by an emerging food conscious upper and upper-middle class.
  • Is urban agriculture practiced by a growing number of cities increasing their resilience and reducing their vulnerability?
  • Can urban farmers movements advocating for food sovereignty and hunger led riots trigger wider alliances and movements for societal changes?
  • What is and what can be the contribution of traditional knowledge on farming systems to urban agriculture within a Food Sovereignty framework?
  • What are among the existing experiences those that are aiming at environmental justice and to the Right to nutritious food for all?

Prof Adriana Allen 
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Dr Robert Biel
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Dr Alexandre Apsan Frediani
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Zeremarian Fre    
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PhD Students

Nick Anim