Urban futures and food production

Silvio Caputo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The resurgence of urban agriculture (UA) seems to be in full swing, with local policies embracing it through food charters and other initiatives, academic debate developing in-depth insights on its multi-functionality, and groups and social enterprises increasingly practicing it in diverse forms. Despite this growing interest, the purpose for it remains unclear, with some actors pursuing it for social purposes and others for ecological enhancement or even as a form of protest. Concomitantly, beyond the seminal conceptualisation of urban productive landscapes as an integration of UA within urban development, advancements on this topic have been marginal. Academic debate seems to focus predominately on issues such as healthy lifestyles and food security, but much less on models of dense cities based on productivity (economic, of food, ideas and social relations) and a just access to resources. The article is a theoretical contribution in this direction. It builds on the thesis formulated by Srniceck and Williams (2015), which posits that ‘localism’ and community-based approaches characterising many of the left wing movements over the last decade are the main cause for their failures to gain general consent. This is because such approaches lack a unifying, global vision that can be perceived as an alternative to the current neo-liberal regime. The article reviews four of the most celebrated city models that have UA at their core to subsequently discuss a unifying urban vision of a UA city, which can, in turn, provide long-term guidance to the many, varied UA projects in developed countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-imagining sustainable food planning, building resourcefulness: food movements, insurgent planning and heterodox economics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 8th Annual Conference AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Group
PublisherCoventry University
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-84600-082-9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018
Event8th AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference 2017 - Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Nov 201715 Nov 2017


Conference8th AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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