This key concept focuses on research about public spaces used for (typically) small scale farming operations. Examples of such spaces include community gardens, rooftop gardens, and other adaptations to the urban environment for growing food.
In the mid-1990s, New York City initiated what would prove to be a long, highly visible struggle involving rights claims related to property, housing, and public space in the form of community gardens. The competing discourses of rights were part of a struggle over the kind of city that New York was to become, and more specifically, whether it would be one in which difference is accepted and in which access to the city and the public realm would be guaranteed. Using interviews with participants in the conflict over community gardens, we evaluate how the resolution to the gardens crisis, which in part occurred through the privatization of what are often taken to be public or community rights to land, transform not only the legal status of the gardens but also, potentially, their role as places where different ‘publics’ can both exercise their right to the city and solidify that right in the landscape.
International journal of urban and regional research (2012)
This article examines two different models of space management, devised by NGOs to confront the marketization of public space in New York City through privatizing the land of community gardens. The Trust for Public Land promotes a model that emphasizes community ownership, while the New York Restoration Project promotes a model that emphasizes the preservation of land. The article compares the two models of NGO management of community gardens particularly through the lens of community participation, sense of ownership and control over space, and argues that both models transform the meaning of public space in ways that undermine its opportunity to develop as an autonomous community space.
Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society (2010)
Urban agriculture (UA) is spreading across vacant and marginal land worldwide, embraced by government and civil society as source of food, ecosystems services and jobs, particularly in times of economic crisis. ‘Metabolic rift' is an effective framework for differentiating UA's multiple origins and functions across the Global North and South. I examine how UA arises from three interrelated dimensions of metabolic rift—ecological, social and individual. By rescaling production, reclaiming vacant land and ‘de-alienating’ urban dwellers from their food, UA also attempts to overcome these forms of rift. Considering all three dimensions is valuable both for theory and practice.