This course takes an ecosystem approach to the study of urban food production through its intersections with social, cultural, and political dimensions of the urban environment. "Urban Agriculture and Food Justice" examines historic and contemporary forces driving urban agriculture, and the ways that it contributes to processes of gentrification, food security, biodiversity, energy conservation, job creation, human health, and well being.
Economies in cities are dominated by extra-local corporations. The question is “how do communities start to take back control from these corporations?” The answer lies in a methodology for community development called asset-based community development or ABCD. ABCD assumes that people in communities already have skills and talents, but that those skills and talents are under utilized. It is an evolution of popular education, which we will spend the first half of the semester discussing.
Imagine that you have run an inspiring grassroots campaign and been elected to your local city council as a progressive candidate. What kind of world do you walk into on day one of your new job? Why and how do well-meaning elected officials and their policies get co-opted, defeated or sidetracked so often in local governments?