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Creating New Urban Spaces of Sustainability and Governmentality: An Assessment of the Development of a Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy for Edmonton, Canada

From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts

ISBN: 978-1-78441-058-2, eISBN: 978-1-78441-057-5

ISSN: 1047-0042

Publication date: 25 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the potential of urban agriculture (UA) as a tool for advancing urban sustainability.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is based on participatory action case research focused on the development of an urban food policy in Edmonton, Canada from 2008 to 2013. Three data gathering techniques were employed: participant observation, semi-structured interviewing, and document analysis, and the data was analyzed using a grounded theory approach that including coding for themes and triangulation. We also draw on the work of critical sustainability scholars to outline the propensity for innovative work on local food initiatives to follow the same development path as many urban sustainability initiatives that foreclose political debate and reinforce the status quo.

Findings

The research data reveals that despite initial progressive changes in municipal policy, promising innovative food system planning, in the end Edmonton’s city council were largely driven by a development agenda.

Originality/value

In discussing both the successes and remaining challenges for Edmonton, this case study offers instructive lessons for many municipalities about key factors required for moving urban sustainability forward, specifically with respect to capitalizing on the innovative integrative functions of food for organizing communities and building capacity but also in moving beyond technocratic systems of management and planning to advance a paradigm shift toward building urban food security.

Keywords

Citation

Hanson, L.L. and Schrader, D. (2014), "Creating New Urban Spaces of Sustainability and Governmentality: An Assessment of the Development of a Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy for Edmonton, Canada", From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 191-214. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1047-004220140000014009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited