1st Edition

Resourcing an Agroecological Urbanism Political, Transformational and Territorial Dimensions

Edited By Chiara Tornaghi, Michiel Dehaene Copyright 2021
    250 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Foregrounding an innovative and radical perspective on food planning, this book makes the case for an agroecological urbanism in which food is a key component in the reinvention of new and just social arrangements and ecological practices.

    Building on state-of-the-art and participatory research on farming, urbanism, food policy and advocacy in the field of food system transformation, this book changes the way food planning has been conceptualised to date and invites the reader to fully embrace the transformative potential of an agroecological perspective. Bringing in dialogue from both the rural and urban, the producer and consumer, this book challenges conventional approaches that see them as separate spheres, whose problems can only be solved by a reconnection. Instead, it argues for moving away from a ‘food-in-the-city’ approach towards an ‘urbanism’ perspective, in which the economic and spatial processes that currently drive urbanisation will be unpacked and dissected, and new strategies for changing those processes into more equal and just ones are put forward. Drawing on the nascent field of urban political agroecology, this text brings together: i) theoretical re-conceptualisations of urbanism in relation to food planning and the emergence of new agrarian questions, ii) critical analysis of experimental methodologies and performing arts for public dialogue, reflexivity and food sovereignty research, iii) experiences of resourceful land management, including urban land use and land tenure change, and iv) theoretical and practical exploration of post-capitalist economics that bring consumers and producers together to make the case for an agroecological urbanism.

    Aimed at advanced students and academics in agroecology, sustainable food planning, urban geography, urban planning and critical food studies, this book will also be of interest to professionals and activists working with food systems in both the Global North and the Global South.

    Introduction. Embracing political agroecology, transforming sustainable food planning
    Chiara Tornaghi and Michiel Dehaene

    1. Food as an urban question, and the foundations of a reproductive, agroecological, urbanism
    C.M. Deh-Tor

    2. Sharing the harvest: Transformative artful and activist methodologies for urban agroecology
    E. Von Der Haide, A. M. Orrù, B. Van Dyck, et al.

    3. Commons and Commoning for a Just Agroecological Transition: The Importance of Decolonising and Decommodifying our Food Systems
    Tomaso Ferrando, Priscilla Claeys, Dagmar Diesner et al.

    4. Urban agrarian alliance building in peri-urban Rome: The pivotal role of land access in food system reconfiguration
    Luca Colombo, Stefano Grando and Giacomo Lepri

    5. Urban agroforestry as a strategy for aligning agroecology with resilience planning initiatives 
    Sarah Lovell and John Taylor

    6. Soils, Industrialised Cities, and Contaminants: Challenges for an Agroecological Urbanism
    Salvatore Engel Di Mauro

    7. The potential of bio-intensive market gardening models for a transformative urban agriculture: Adapting SPIN Farming to Brussels
    Noémie Maughan, Natalie Pipart, Barbara Van Dyck et al.

    8. The transformative potential of agroecological farmers: an analysis of participatory food system strategies in Nicaragua and England
    Elise Wach and Santiago Ripoll

    9. Conjugating Social and Solidarity Economies in Chiapas, Mexico: Redesigning food systems for economic, social and ecological virtuous circles
    Emilio Travieso

    10. Peasant Counter-Hegemony towards post-capitalist food sovereignty: Facing Rural and Urban Precarity
    Mark Tilzey

    Conclusions. The programmatic dimension of an agroecological urbanism
    Michiel Dehaene and Chiara Tornaghi


    Chiara Tornaghi is Associate Professor in Urban Food Sovereignty and Resilience at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), Coventry University, UK. She has a background in Politics (Lauream, State University of Milan, 2001), Sociology (PhD, University of Milano Bicocca, 2005) and Planning (PgCert, University of Newcastle, UK, 2006). Her research interests include grassroots contestation and reappropriation of public space, politics of urban land, political pedagogies, indigenous cosmologies and knowledge of plants as food and medicine, feminist political ecology and urban agroecology. Since 2016 she is the elected Chair of the AESOP Sustainable Food Planning group. Beside academic life, she is also an allotmenteer, a community food grower, and working towards reskilling herself in medical herbalism.

    Michiel Dehaene is Associate Professor in Urbanism at the department of Architecture and Urban Planning at Ghent University where he leads his own research group and teaches courses in urban analysis and design. He holds a master’s degree in engineering-architecture (KULeuven 1994), a Master of Architecture in Urban Design (Harvard University 1996) and a PhD in Architecture and Urbanism (KULeuven 2002). His work focusses on sub-urban renewal, the (planning) history of dispersed urban development, sustainable cities and food planning. His long-term research has been structured around the incorporation of urban theories and theories of urbanization within the fields of planning and design, moving away from normative design theory. This includes systematic work on urban development models and territorial strategies that support the agroecological production of food. With Chiara Tornaghi he leads the JPI SUGI ‘Urbanising in Place’ project on the development of an Agroecological Urbanism.