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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2014

Lorelei L. Hanson and Deborah Schrader

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

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.

Details

From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-058-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2016

Agnese Cretella

Food, notably its logistics, security, quality, sustainability and social inclusiveness, is increasingly considered as a crucial element in urban settings, deserving…

Abstract

Food, notably its logistics, security, quality, sustainability and social inclusiveness, is increasingly considered as a crucial element in urban settings, deserving specific institutional and strategic instruments. This is testified by the proliferation of urban food strategies, that is municipal strategic documents that various European cities have adopted during the last decade.

This chapter examines the emergence and diffusion of the concept in Europe, contextualizing it in connection with broader thesis on ‘alternative’ food systems, ‘new localism’ and ‘strategic planning’, in order to unpack how the notion has been constructed. The first part of the chapter reviews the existing literature on urban food strategies, by presenting the debate over the definition of the concept and discussing the normative stance of scholars in regard to ‘alternative’ practices.

After providing a working definition of urban food strategies, the second part presents an overview of their diffusion in Europe and briefly maps the historical diffusion of the model since the first appearance in Toronto in 2000.

The fast adoption of urban food strategies in different urban contexts suggests the necessity of further investigations on the motivations behind the cities’ drive towards food governance. In this sense, the chapter argues in favour of a more cautious assessment of food strategies on behalf of scholars, beyond the positive enthusiasm that has been so far connected to them. In particular, the chapter calls for a critique on the political implications of food strategies, which urgently need to be assessed within strategies of city branding, and to be tested on their actual consequences on urban regeneration and development processes.

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Dilupa Nakandala and H.C.W. Lau

This paper aims to investigate the characteristics of demand and supply in relation to the real-world supply chain strategies of local urban fresh food supply chains…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the characteristics of demand and supply in relation to the real-world supply chain strategies of local urban fresh food supply chains (FFSC). It generates insights into how a range of strategies is adopted by urban retailer businesses in attempting to cater for the particular requirements of food-literate urban consumers and small-scale local growers.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a multiple case study method, 12 urban local fresh food retailers in Sydney were studied and interview data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Local fresh produce has characteristics of both functional and innovative products. Retailers with strong upstream and downstream collaborations adopt hybrid strategies for increased time efficiency and product variety. The dominance of strategies for time efficiency in downstream activities is aimed at maximising the product’s freshness and taste, while product range improvement strategies mean innovative retailers are working with growers to introduce new product types and offering new recipes to consumers that encourage a wider use of products. Urban retailers of local fresh produce leverage on their relationships with upstream and downstream supply chain entities in implementing hybrid strategies.

Implications

Policymakers will make use of the new knowledge generated about the real enablers of contemporary urban food systems in designing developmental policies; findings will inform urban FFSC retailers about how harmonious relationships can be leveraged for sustainability.

Originality/value

The study generates new knowledge on the implementation of a leagile approach by studying the adoption of innovative hybrid strategies by urban local FFSCs in relations to demand and supply characteristics and the utilization of strong vertical relationships in a short supply chain.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Dilupa Nakandala, Meg Smith and Henry Lau

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supply chain relationships in an urban local fresh food system from a retailer perspective to examine the types of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supply chain relationships in an urban local fresh food system from a retailer perspective to examine the types of relationships and the factors underpinning the development of such relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the multiple case study method, interview data from twelve urban local fresh food retailers in Sydney were analysed using the thematic analysis.

Findings

This study finds that balanced power relationships in the supply chain allow reasonable power to sit with growers in product price determination irrespective of the dependency of small-scale growers on relatively large local retailers. Trust-based relationships are developed over multiple transactions, where shared values across the supply chain and consistently low opportunistic behaviour in reward sharing are demonstrated to be the crucial factors underpinning close relationships. This study also found evidence of horizontal supply chain linkages among retailers in a competitive environment.

Practical implications

Findings of this study have implications for policymakers in designing urban fresh food systems and for practitioners in large urban retailers including supermarkets that attempt to integrate local food into their product portfolio.

Originality/value

This study extends the local food system literature dominated by rural studies to include new knowledge about the dynamics of collaborations in contemporary urban local fresh food supply chains. It provides the first empirical evidence of lateral inventory transshipment between retailers in a competitive environment confirming previous simulation studies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2020

Hongdong Guo, Yehong Liu, Xinjie Shi and Kevin Z. Chen

The purpose of this study is to investigate e-commerce as a new means to ensure that the urban demand for food can be met during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate e-commerce as a new means to ensure that the urban demand for food can be met during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Because a number of COVID-19 e-commerce models have emerged, this paper discusses whether and (if so) why and how e-commerce can ensure the food supply for urban residents if social distancing becomes a norm and the transport and logistics systems are hindered.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used qualitative research methods following the lack of empirical data. The authors referred to relevant literature, statistical data and official reports and comprehensively described the importance of e-commerce in ensuring the safety of food supply to Chinese urban residents under the impact of the epidemic. Corresponding to the traditional case study, this study presented a Chinese case on ensuring food supply through e-commerce during an epidemic.

Findings

The authors found that three e-commerce models played a substantial role in preventing the spread of the epidemic and ensuring the food supply for urban residents. The nationwide e-commerce platforms under market leadership played their roles by relying on the sound infrastructure of large cities and its logistics system was vulnerable to the epidemic. In the worst-affected areas, particularly in closed and isolated communities, the local e-commerce model was the primary model, supplemented by the unofficial e-commerce model based on social relations. Through online booking, centralized procurement and community distribution, the risk of cross infection could be effectively reduced and the food demand could be effectively satisfied. The theoretical explanation further verifies that, apart from e-commerce, a governance system that integrates the government, e-commerce platform, community streets and the unofficial guanxi also impels the success of these models.

Originality/value

Lessons from China are drawn for other countries struggling to deliver food to those in need under COVID-19. The study not only provides a solution that will ensure constant food supply to urban residents under the COVID-19 epidemic but also provides some reference for the maintenance of the food system of urban residents under the impact of a globalization-related crisis in future.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Joshua Sbicca

As a sustainability initiative with the backing of civil society, business, or government interests, urban agriculture can drive green gentrification even when advocates…

Abstract

As a sustainability initiative with the backing of civil society, business, or government interests, urban agriculture can drive green gentrification even when advocates of these initiatives have good intentions and are aware of their exclusionary potential for urban farmers and residents. I investigate this more general pattern with the case of how urban agriculture became used for green gentrification in Denver, Colorado. This is a city with many urban farmers that gained access to land after the Great Recession but faced the contradiction of being a force for displacement and at risk of displacement as the city adopted new sustainability and food system goals, the housing market recovered, and green gentrification spread. I argue that to understand this outcome, it is necessary to explain how political economy and cultural forces create neighborhood disinvestment and economic marginalization and compel the entrance of urban agriculture initiatives due to their low-profit mode of production and potential economic, environmental, and social benefits. Central to how urban agriculture initiatives contribute to green gentrification is the process of revalorization, which is how green growth machines repurpose such initiatives by drawing on their cultural cachet to exploit rent gaps. I conclude with a set of hypotheses to help other scholars test the conditions under which urban agriculture is more or less likely to contribute to green gentrification. Doing so may help nuance convictions about the benefits of urban agriculture within the context of entrenched inequalities in rapidly changing cities.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2009

June Komisar, Joe Nasr and Mark Gorgolewski

Strategies to enable alternative urban food systems cannot be developed alone by those involved with the production and distribution aspects of food systems. It is…

Abstract

Strategies to enable alternative urban food systems cannot be developed alone by those involved with the production and distribution aspects of food systems. It is important for architects, landscape designers and planners to be part of the process of conceiving and implementing innovative food-system thinking. Environmentally focused building standards and models for sustainable communities can easily incorporate farmers' markets, greenhouses, edible landscapes, permeable paving, green roofs, community gardens, and permaculture and other food-related strategies that complement energy generation and conservation, green roofs, living walls, and other approaches that have been more commonly part of sustainable built-environment initiatives.

Recently, architecture faculty and students at Ryerson University in Toronto and at a number of other universities have been exploring the intersection of these disciplines and interests. This paper will show how Ryerson tackled agricultural and food issues as design challenges in projects that included first-year community investigations, student-run design competitions, third-year studio projects and complex final-year thesis projects. These projects that dealt with food issues proved to be excellent entry points for addressing a range of design challenges including social inclusion, cultural context, community design and sustainable building practices.

Details

Open House International, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2021

Samanthi Kumari Weerabahu, Premaratne Samaranayake, S.W. Sarath Dasanayaka and Chaminda Nalaka Wickramasinghe

This paper explores the challenges of food security from source to consumption of agri-food value chain by considering urban–rural linkages in city region food systems

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the challenges of food security from source to consumption of agri-food value chain by considering urban–rural linkages in city region food systems (CRFSs) and proposes a strategic framework for CRFS identifying strategies to promote urban–rural linkages among multiple stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study approach to a fruit and vegetable value chain from rural source to consumption in the Colombo City region identifies the challenges of food security. A snowballing sampling method was used to gather information from retailers, wholesalers, commission agent, farmers and consumers. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews, observations and secondary data sources. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Challenges in food security in the value chain related to five areas: input and production, infrastructure, public institutional support and policy, finance, and food market. Colombo city is heavily dependent on food sourced from other cities due to limited land and lack of locally situated commercially oriented farmers.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited to a selected number of fruits and vegetables in the Colombo city region and leaves out other food items.

Originality/value

This study contributes to informing policy and decision-making processes to promote a more balanced rural to city food value chain in Colombo City that could benefit all stakeholders from rural small-scale producers to urban consumers.

Details

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-0839

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Carolyn Dimitri, Lydia Oberholtzer and Andy Pressman

Urban farming is becoming more common in the USA, as food-based entrepreneurs seek to make money farming in the city. Yet many urban farms are concerned with other factors…

Abstract

Purpose

Urban farming is becoming more common in the USA, as food-based entrepreneurs seek to make money farming in the city. Yet many urban farms are concerned with other factors in addition to food production, and thus have incorporated social goals into their missions. The purpose of this paper is to identify the social missions of urban farms in the USA, their extent, and explores differences and similarities among farms with varying missions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use primary data collected from a 2012 national survey of urban farmers in the USA. In total, 35 questions, covering the 2012 farm year, targeted production and marketing practices, risks and challenges, information and technical assistance needs, farm size and location, age of primary farmer, and farm characteristics. A multinomial logistic model was used to analyze the social missions of urban farms in the sample.

Findings

The authors find that food production is an essential part of the mission for all urban farms. Some farms have social missions, as well, which the survey results indicate are related to food security, education, and community building. The authors find that all urban farms, regardless of their mission, are relatively small and face similar challenges in terms of providing the primary farmer with a living. Farms with explicit social missions, relative to those with a strict market orientation, donate a higher share of food from their farm and are less likely to own farmland. Urban farms located in with lower median income are more likely to have social goals related to building community or improving security food security.

Originality/value

Urban agriculture is becoming more prevalent in many developed nations. At the same time, social entrepreneurship is gaining traction. Given the limited ability of urban farms in terms of food production, the social mission of urban farms arises as a possible explanation for the recent growth. This paper provides insight into a new phenomenon, and uses new data to provide insight into size, types of farms, and farmer well-being and address the social missions of urban farms in the USA.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2010

Tite Ngoumou

This chapter addresses urban food provisioning through a case study of banana plantain production, distribution, and consumption centering around two Cameroonian villages…

Abstract

This chapter addresses urban food provisioning through a case study of banana plantain production, distribution, and consumption centering around two Cameroonian villages – Koumou and Oban. Recent and rapid urban population growth in Cameroon has brought attention to the issue of urban food supply, which has always been assured by a traditional organization of numerous small operators and which has proven to be more effective overall than initiatives adopted by public authorities. This chapter identifies the actors involved in urban food provisioning systems in Cameroon and highlights the often underlooked role played by cultural and social factors within the economy of food.

Details

Economic Action in Theory and Practice: Anthropological Investigations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-118-4

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