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Urban gardens, agriculture, and water management: Sources of resilience forlong-term food security in cities
Department of History, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2637-2024
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 86, p. 224-234Article 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, p. 224-234
Keywords [en]
Pre-Columbian Maya, Constantinople, Social-ecological resilience, Food security, Agriculture and gardens, Blue-green infrastructure
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28092DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.06.018ISI: 000317803500029Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84874005092OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-28092DiVA, id: diva2:1254651
Available from: 2012-10-01 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2018-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Barthel, Stephan

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