Food for all? Critically evaluating the role of the Incredible Edible movement in the UK

Hardman, Michael, Adams, Mags orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8949-1381, Barker, Melissa and Beesley, Luke (2019) Food for all? Critically evaluating the role of the Incredible Edible movement in the UK. In: Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice. Manchester University Press (MUP), Manchester, pp. 139-153. ISBN 9781526126092

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The practice ofUrbanAgriculture (UA) - the growing of food and/or rearing of livestock within the city context - is on the rise globally (Hardman and Larkham, 2014). Arguments for UA vary, ranging from its potential to contract the food supply chain by relocating production closer to urban consumers, to the poten­ tial for improved social engagement , through bringing communities together on allotments, communal gardens and other growing spaces (Gorgolewski et al., 2011;Wiskereke and Viljoen, 2012). Proponents ofUA often cite Detroit (USA) and Havana (Cuba) as exemplars in which such practiceshave resulted in various positive impacts : regenerating space, feeding people in need and creating sus­ tainable economies (Gi orda, 2012). An emerging argument in Europe surrounds the potential for UA to create a more 'just' food system (Alkon and Agyeman, 2011). Whilst the link between food justice and UA has a nascent research base in North America, there is little exploration elsewhere, particularly in the UK (Tornaghi, 2014). There is also emerging research which focuses on the envir­ onmental benefits derived through UA, particularly its contribution to local ecosystems and usage of urban by-products as growing substrates (Chipungu et al., 2013). Co nversely there are warnings sounded in recent literature about the risks associated with UA, particularly in relation to the contaminated soils and waters and materials use to compose growing substrates (Chipungu et al., 2013).

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