Town Planning Review 88.1: Featured Article

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Megan Ainsworth

The editors of TPR have selected ‘Legalising urban agriculture in Detroit: a contested way of planning for decline’ by Flaminia Paddeu  as the Featured Article for the latest issue. It will be free to access for three months. You can access the article here.

When asked to describe the paper, and highlight its importance, the author stated the following:

Detroit is living a challenging time, where decline has brought dramatic outcomes as well as tremendous opportunities for change. Community-based movements have been fighting for decades to foster urban agriculture, leading the City of Detroit to legalize urban agriculture practices. Declining cities offer tangible opportunities for original and radical urban agriculture experiments, (i.e.) reconnecting cities with production ecosystems and building local food systems that integrate social justice and ecological relationships. Yet investigation during my doctoral research in urban geography yielded evidence that beyond the benefits narrative, urban agriculture is not a just and beneficial practice per se: on the contrary it is a revealing indicator of troubled social, racial and spatial dynamics in declining cities’ current struggle towards recovery. A better understanding of the changes that are underway involves identifying the underlying processes that shape different models of urban agriculture, such as urban policy regimes or contradictory social collectives commitments. Ultimately, we advocate for remaining sensitive to the social justice issues generated by urban agriculture as well as to the paths of resiliency it creates.

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