This book explores the critical role of urban food production in strengthening communities and in building ecosocialism. It integrates theory and practice, drawing on several local case studies from seven countries across four continents: China, Cuba, Ghana, Italy, Tanzania, the UK, and the US.
Research shows that the term “urban agriculture” overstates the limited food-growing potential in cities due to a shortage of land required for growing grains, the basic human food staple. For this reason, the book suggests “urban cultivation” as an appropriate term which indicates social and political progress achieved through combined labours of urbanites to produce food. It examines how these collaborative food-growing efforts help raise local social capital, foster community organisation, and create ecological awareness in order to promote urban food production while also ensuring environmental sustainability. This book illustrates how urban cultivation constitutes a potentially important aspect of urban ecosystems, as well as offers solutions to current environmental problems. It recentres attention to the global South and debunks Eurocentric narratives, challenging capitalist commercial food-growing regimes and encouraging ecosocialist food- growing practices.
Written in an accessible style, this book is recommended reading about an emergent issue which will interest students and scholars of environmental studies, geography, sociology, urban studies, politics, and economics.
Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro is Professor in the Department of Geography at SUNY New Paltz. Research interests include critical physical geography, socialist movements, soil degradation, urban soils, and trace element contamination. He is the chief editor for the journal Capitalism Nature Socialism.
George Martin is Emeritus Professor, Montclair State University and Visiting Professor, Centre for Environment & Sustainability, University of Surrey. He is a senior research fellow at the Center for Political Ecology, University of California, Santa Cruz, and advisory board member for Capitalism Nature Socialism at Routledge. His focus is urban environmental sociology. Professor Martin’s recent publication was Sustainability Prospects for Autonomous Vehicles with Routledge in 2019.
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