Raising the ambition of urban agriculture in public space: nurturing urban agroecology and more-than-human health

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Building on 15 years of research in the field of urban agriculture, this chapter discusses key issues which refrain urban agriculture from achieving its full potential, in terms of human and non-human health, and offers a few pointers for informing policy and practice. First, the author offers a brief overview of how the key challenges of western urbanisation (climate change, people’s health, and the destruction of nature) intersect with urban agriculture, and what promises lay ahead for this rediscovered practice. The second part highlights a number of shortcomings in urban planning policy. In particular it highlights: i) the failure to consider UA as a food-producing practice; ii) the invisibility of soil, and lack of understanding of the role of living soils; iii) the failure to consider the role that soil-cares and food producing specialists (farmers!) can play in advising on healthy public land design and soil management. Part three, discusses how agroecological considerations can deepen and expand the ambition of urban agriculture in public space and bring about more-than-human health. The conclusions offer a summary of the challenges, critical issues, and learning points discussed in the previous three sections, and highlight their connection to the concept of “agroecological urbanism”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Agriculture in Public Space: Planning and Designing for Human Flourishing in Northern European Cities and Beyond
EditorsSirowy Beata, Ruggeri Deni
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-41550-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-41549-4, 978-3-031-41552-4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Sept 2023

Publication series

NameGeoJournal Library


  • Urban agroecology
  • Agroecological urbanism
  • Planetary health
  • Public space
  • Urban agriculture
  • Bicultural diversity


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