Call for Contributions: Urban Agroecology

This issue of Urban Agriculture Magazine is a joint effort of RUAF, the Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience at Coventry University and the Coventry based national charity Garden Organic.

In this upcoming magazine, we like to explore the differences between ‘urban agriculture’ and ‘urban agroecology’, and to contribute to articulate and document an emerging field. We like to explore whether it is enough to consider urban agriculture and urban agroecology as forms of food growing that have moved from the countryside to the city. Or does the ‘urban’, the location in the city, make any difference?

Definitions of urban agroecology differ and tend to reflect the way the term agroecology is understood, as well as political economic preferences. Agroecology is more than a growing technique. We believe that in ecological terms, it is based on respecting all forms of life and reject human-centred approaches, committing to steward the protection of land from degradation, pollution and enclosure. In social terms, it strives for (and thrives upon) mutual support, mutual learning and the respect of cultural differences. In political terms, it is embedded in a network of movements for food sovereignty and food justice, and in economic terms it ranges from social enterprises to commons.

We look for articles in the following categories:

  1. Contributions that explore ways of conceptualising urban agroecology, especially in relation to urban agriculture. Are they different? Why are they different and how do these differences count and impact on our work and more generally? We would like to collect different perspectives (from scholars to technical advisors, practitioners and students) on the role of urban agroecology in the sustainable development of food systems.
  2. Articles that focus on exploring practices and city initiatives related to urban agroecology. We look for local experiences (both civil society as well as government-led) with urban agroecology in different cities worldwide and that illustrate the specificity of applying agro-ecological approaches in (peri-) urban contexts, and its potentials, bottlenecks and success factors. Think of intra-urban agriculture and peri-urban forms of agroecological production and the strengthening of rural-urban linkages and biodiversity in urban areas.
  3. Articles that focus on the role of urban policies in supporting agroecology, and the ways and legal tools through which they ban or constraint the use of chemicals and encourage natural agriculture.
  4. Contributions offering tools to explore, research, and learn about urban agroecology. While agroecology has been predominantly explored with reference to peasant practices, we like to offer an overview of institutions and groups who research and train on the topic of urban agroecology, and recognise the specific challenges posed by the way the urban condition shape metabolic cycles, constraint access to land, and present often contaminated, depleted or disturbed ecological environments.

Deadline for articles: 1 July (outline), 1 August (full article).

Total article length should be 600 (1 page), 1400 (2 page) or 2100 (3 page).

The Magazine will be published by mid November 2017 and launched at the 8th AESOP conference on Sustainable Food Planning, titled “Re-imagining sustainable food planning, building resourcefulness: food movements, insurgent planning and heterodox economics” in Coventry.

For more information or to receive the detailed author guidelines, contact Femke Hoekstra at f [dot] hoekstra [at] ruaf [dot] org.