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Filling the Void with Food: Urban Gardens as Safe Spaces and Alternatives to Vacant Land

Enabling Gender Equality: Future Generations of the Global World

ISBN: 978-1-78560-567-3, eISBN: 978-1-78560-566-6

ISSN: 0895-9935

Publication date: 13 November 2015

Abstract

Although urban agricultural programs rarely alleviate the pressures of food insecurity on a large scale, community gardens and urban farms are still cropping up in underserved communities and gentrifying areas of redevelopment. This paper identifies the purposes these programs serve for their communities and argues that with government support, grassroots approaches can combat complex problems. Using qualitative and quantitative sources employing a wide range of social research methodology to establish triangulation including but not limited to: case studies; interviews, quantitative analysis of land values; comparative analyses of vacant land policies; urban archives news documents and photographs; empirical models of urban land use and food distribution. The study illustrates the community food garden as an oasis from the typical threats of food insecurity, violence, and sexual harassment urban areas often pose. This collection of qualitative data support existing literature which states that if maintained, community agricultural projects result in a multitude of social, economic, environmental, and physical health benefits. Finally, this paper suggests that with proper support, these small programs can have larger societal impacts. This paper views community agricultural projects as an overlooked vehicle for social and structural change. Community members know the struggles in their neighborhoods best; Grassroots programs like urban gardens leverage social dynamics that create sustainable change.

Citation

Tryba, A. (2015), "Filling the Void with Food: Urban Gardens as Safe Spaces and Alternatives to Vacant Land", Enabling Gender Equality: Future Generations of the Global World (Research in Political Sociology, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 93-110. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0895-993520150000023007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited