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Urban gardens, agriculture, and water management: Sources of resilience forlong-term food security in cities
Stockholm University.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology.
2013 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 86, 224-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food security has always been a key resilience facet for people living in cities. This paper discusses lessons for food security fromhistoric and prehistoric cities. The Chicago school of urban sociology established amodernist understanding of urbanism as an essentialist reality separate from its larger life-support system. However, different urban histories have given rise to a remarkable spatial diversity and temporal variation viewed at the global and long-term scales that are often overlooked in urban scholarship.Drawing on two case studies fromwidely different historical and cultural contexts – the Classic Maya civilization of the late first millennium AD and Byzantine Constantinople – this paper demonstrates urban farming as a pertinent feature of urban support systems over the long-term and global scales. We show how urban gardens, agriculture, and water management as well as the linked social–ecological memories of how to uphold such practices over time have contributed to long-term food security during eras of energy scarcity. We exemplify with the function of such local blue–green infrastructures during chocks to urban supply lines. We conclude that agricultural production is not “the antithesis of the city," but often an integrated urban activity that contribute to the resilience of cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 86, 224-234 p.
Keyword [en]
Pre-Columbian Maya, Constantinople, Social-ecological resilience, Food security, Agriculture and gardens, Blue-green infrastructure
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181739DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.06.018ISI: 000317803500029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181739DiVA: diva2:557449
Available from: 2012-10-01 Created: 2012-09-27 Last updated: 2013-05-28Bibliographically approved

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