"More than fruits and vegetables "

Community garden experiences from the Global North to foster green development of informal areas in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Authors

  • Alexandra Aguiar Pedro Municipal Housing Secretariat | Sao Paulo City Hall, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Anna Görner Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management | TU Dresden
  • André Lindner Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management | TU Dresden
  • Wolfgang Wende Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development | Dresden

Downloads

DOI:

10.7480/rius.6.101

Keywords:

urban agriculture, community garden, slum, informal settlement, inclusive urbanism

Abstract

Urban gardening contributes to society in various ways such as by enhancing communities, ensuring food security, improving health, providing places for recreation as well as by raising environmental awareness.

Although urban gardening initiatives have been spreading, the challenge remains to include vulnerable communities, especially in developing countries, which face manifold infrastructural, environmental and social pressures, thereby helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) and foster urban inclusiveness.

The study evaluated the performance of urban community gardens in order to verify their potential for implementation in the slums of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Significant assets and drawbacks were analyzed from existing studies and categorized into social, spatial, economic and environmental factors. Additionally, qualitative interviews on societal and motivational issues were conducted with contributors to a community garden in Dresden, Germany.

The results highlight the potential of urban gardening to counteract spatial pressures in informal areas by creating green spaces, improving food quality, raising environmental awareness and, in general, ensuring a higher quality of life. On the other hand, some obstacles remain to be overcome, such as soil pollution, the high probability of further contamination as well as a lack of basic infrastructure.

A top-down implementation of urban gardens within slums is considered feasible if the projects are designed in partnership with the community, and a long-term adaptive management model is applied. Under these conditions, urban gardening will make a significant contribution to ‘inclusive urbanism'.

How to Cite

Pedro, A. A., Görner, A., Lindner, A., & Wende, W. (2020). "More than fruits and vegetables ": Community garden experiences from the Global North to foster green development of informal areas in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Research in Urbanism Series, 6, 219-242. https://doi.org/10.7480/rius.6.101

Published

2020-09-11

Author Biographies

Alexandra Aguiar Pedro, Municipal Housing Secretariat | Sao Paulo City Hall, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Architect and urban planner at the Housing Secretariat in Sao Paulo City Hall (Brazil), working with informal settlements and social housing policy since 2006.

Anna Görner, Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management | TU Dresden

Course director at the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at Technische Universität Dresden (Germany). CIPSEM is supported by UNEP, UNESCO and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). 

André Lindner, Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management | TU Dresden

Ecologist with an emphasis on tropical environments. Since 2014 he is working at the Centre for International Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at Technische Universität Dresden (Germany) as deputy director, lecturer and coordinator of the course programme supported by UNEP, UNESCO and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Wolfgang Wende, Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development | Dresden

Professor for urban development at Technische Universität Dresden and head of the Research Area Landscape Change and Management at IOER (Germany).

References

Artmann, M., & Sartison, K. (2018). The role of urban agriculture as a nature-based solution: A review for developing a systemic assessment framework. Sustainability 10 (1937), 1–32.

Buijs, A. E., Mattijssen, T. J. M., Van Der Jagt, A. P. N., Ambrose-Oji B., Andersson, E., Elands, B. H. M., & Steen Møller, M. (2017). Active citizenship for urban green infrastructure: Fostering the diversity and dynamics of citizen contributions through mosaic governance. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 22, 1–6.

Chu, E., Anguelovski, I., & Roberts, D. (2017). Climate adaptation as strategic urbanism: Assessing opportunities and uncertainties for equity and inclusive development in cities. Cities 60, 378–87.

Defoe, P. P., Hettiarachchi, G. M., Benedict, C., & Martin, S. (2014). Safety of gardening on lead- and arsenic-contaminated urban brownfields. Journal of Environmental Quality 43(6), 2064–2078.

Demailly, K.-è., & Darly, S. (2017). Urban agriculture on the move in Paris : The routes of temporary gardening in the neoliberal city. ACME An International Journal for Critical Geographies 16(2), 332–361.

Dieleman, H. (2016). Urban agriculture in Mexico City; Balancing between ecological, economic, social and symbolic value article. Journal of Cleaner Production 163 Supplement, 1–22.

Ernwein, M. (2014). Framing urban gardening and agriculture: On space, scale and the public. Geoforum, 56, 77–86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.06.016.

Espino, N.-A. (2015). Building the inclusive city - Theory and practice for confronting urban segregation. Routledge.

Ferreira, J., & Whitaker, S. (2012). Produzir casas ou construir cidades? Desafios para um novo Brasil urbano. Fupam.

Ferreira, V. A., & Magalhães, R. (2005). Obesidade e pobreza: O aparente paradoxo. Um estudo com mulheres da favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Cadernos de Saúde Pública 21(6), 1792–1800.

Foo, K., Martin, D., Wool, C., & Polsky, C. (2014). Reprint of “The production of urban vacant land: Relational placemaking in Boston, MA Neighborhoods”. Cities 40, 175–82.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2014). Growing greener cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. UN

Game, B. I., & Primus, R. (2015). Urban Agriculture. GSDR 2015 Brief, 1–13.

Gasperi, D., Pennisi, G., Rizzati, N., Magrefi, F., Bazzocchi, G., Mezzacapo, U., Stefani, M.C., Sanyé-Mengual, E., Orsini, F., & Gianquinto, G. (2016). Towards regenerated and productive vacant areas through urban horticulture: Lessons from Bologna, Italy. Sustainability 8(1347), 1–25.

Georges, R., & Maia, K. (2017). A distância que nos une: Um retrato das desigualdades Brasileiras. São Paulo.

Goldstein, M., Bellis, J., Morse, S., Myers, A., & Ura, E. (2011). Urban agriculture: A sixteen city survey of urban agriculture practices across the country. Georgia, USA. Law Clinic at Emory University Law School Atlanta.

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. (2010). População por município: Estado de São Paulo – censo 2010. http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/censo2010/tabelas_pdf/total_populacao_sao_paulo.pdf (November 22, 2014).

Kato, Y., Passidomo, C., & Harvey, D. (2014). Political gardening in a post-disaster city : Lessons from New Orleans. Urban Studies, 51(9), 1833–1849. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098013504143.

Knight, A. Z., Cheng, S., Grewal, S., & Islam, K.R. (2013). Soil health as a predictor of lettuce productivity and quality: A case study of urban vacant lots. Urban Ecosyst 16, 637–656.

Kremer, P., Hamstead, Z.A. & Mcphearson, T. (2013). A social – ecological assessment of vacant lots in New York City. Landscape and Urban Planning, 120, 218–233. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.05.003.

Lall, S. (2006). Urban policies and slum formation in Brazil: Inputs for a strategy for cities. World Bank Report No. 35749-BR Volume II Background papers, pages 33-49. World Bank http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/810791468005449718/pdf/357490BR.pdf

Maricato, E. (2003). Metrópole, legislação e desigualdade. Estudos Avançados 17(48), 151–167.

Mcivor, K. (2016). Community garden basics. In S. Brown, K. McIvor, & E. Hodges Snyder (Eds.), Sowing seeds in the city: Ecosystem and municipal services (pp. 311–323). Springer.

Meirelles, Z. V., & Gomez, C.M. (2009). Rompendo com a criminalidade: Saída de jovens do tráfico de drogas em favelas na cidade do Rio de Janeiro. Ciência e Saúde Coletiva 14(5), 1797–1805.

Morckel, V. (2015). Community gardens or vacant lots? Rethinking the attractiveness and seasonality of green land uses in distressed neighborhoods. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 14(3), 714–721. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2015.07.001.

Park, K. K. (2017). State of the nexus approach 2017: Multifunctional land-use systems and resources management in resilient cities [conference paper]. DCN 2017 - Dresden Nexus Conference, Dresden

Pasternak, S., & D’Ottaviano, C. (2016). Favelas no Brasil e em São Paulo: Avanços nas análises a partir da leitura territorial do censo de 2010. Cadernos da Metrópole 18(35), 75–99.

Roth, M., Frixen, M., Tobish, C., & Scholle, T. (2015). Finding spaces for urban food production – Matching spatial and stakeholder analysis with urban agriculture approaches in the urban renewal area of Dortmund-Hörde, Germany. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society 3(1), 79–88.

Russo, P., Tomaselli, G., & Pappalardo, G. (2014). Marginal periurban agricultural areas: A support method for landscape planning. Land Use Policy, 41, 97–109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.04.017.

Saporito, E. (2017). OrtiAlti as urban regeneration devices: An action-research study on rooftop farming in Turin. Future of Food: Journal on Food, Agriculture and Society 5(1), 59–69.

Silva, M.R. da, Pelissari, L.B., & Steimbach, A.A. (2013). Juventude, escola e trabalho: Permanência e abandono na educação profissional técnica de nível médio. Educação e Pesquisa 39(2), 403–417.

Siqueira, P.P., Alves, J.G.B., & Figueiroa, J.N. (2009). Fatores associados ao excesso de peso em crianças de uma favela do nordeste brasileiro. Revista Paulista de Pediatria 27(3), 251–257.

Thomas, E. C., & Les Lavkulich, L.M. (2015). Community considerations for quinoa production in the urban environment. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 95(2), 397–404.

UN-Habitat. (2016). Slum almanac 2015-2016. Tracking improvement in the lives of slum dwellers. http://unhabitat.org/slum-almanac-2015-2016/.

United Nations. (2016). The sustainable development goals report 2016. UN

Yoo, H. (2016). A study on the prefab greenhouse on the rooftop for the neighborhood regeneration in Seoul, South Korea. International Journal of Smart Home 10(4), 253–266.