Urban agriculture : food for thought

Van der Merwe, Louise (2003-12)

Thesis (MS en S)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: An ever changing urban environment, limited economic opportunities and rising poverty, have brought into sharp relief the need for strategies that support the livelihoods of the poor. Urban areas are complex and dynamic systems. No town or city is immune from either external forces (globalisation) that dictate the need to adapt, or to internal pressures (the natural growth pattern of an urban population and rural-urban migration) that collectively can precipitate growth or decline. The formal sector cannot, in most instances, fulfil the need for secure, regular employment in the urban areas, which leads to increases in unemployment, gradual breakdown of basic services - visual evidence includes large squatter settlements in and around urban centres - and the not unlikely increase in food insecurity. There is no doubt that the future of urban centres is dependent on the effective absorption of the increasing number of urban dwellers into its environmental, economical and social structures, and public policy plays an important role in the success of this process. The important contribution of urban agriculture in bolstering food security of urban households raises critical planning issues. The spatial integration of our settlements is critical; it holds the potential to enhance economic efficiency and social development. Spatial strategies should be combined with economic and environmental programmes to form an integrated approach towards development. Urban agriculture could possibly catalyse broader developmental processes such as local economic development, whereby disadvantaged communities could potentially secure the benefits of employment and increase food security. The provision of opportunities for urban agriculture not only makes it possible to meet the food needs of the urban poor, but to also ensure sustainable human settlements.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die lig van 'n dinamiese stedelike omgewing, beperkte ekonomiese geleenthede en toenemende armoede, beklemtoon die nood aan strategieë wat die arm stedelike gemeenskap bevoordeel. Stedelike gebiede is ingewikkelde en dinamiese sisteme. Geen dorp of stad is vrygeskeld van eksterne invloede (globalisasie), óf van interne invloede (die natuurlike groeipatroon in 'n stedelike gebied en migrasie van platteland na stede) wat kollektief groei of verval van stede kan aanhits. Die formele sektor kan in die meeste gevalle nie aan die behoefte van vaste werksaanstelling in stedelike gebiede voldoen nie. Dit lei tot 'n toename in werkloosheid en die geleidelike afbreek in fundamentele basiese dienste - ooglopende bewys hiervan sluit die groot plakkerskampe in en om stedelike sentrums - en die nie onwaarskynlike toename in voedseltekorte. Daar is geen twyfel dat die toekoms van stedelike sentrums afhanklik is van die absorpsie van toenemende stedelinge in hul omgewings-, ekonomiese- en sosiale strukture, en openbare beleid speel 'n kardinale rol in die suksesvolle verloop van hierdie proses. Die belang van die bydrae van stedelike landbou tot die rugsteuning van versekering van voedselsekuriteit in stedelike huishoudings kompliseer beplanning geweldig. Die ruimtelike integtrasie van ons nedersettings is belangrik; dit het die potensiaal om ekonomiese vaardigheid en sosiale ontwikkeling te verbeter. Strategieë om ruimte te optimaliseer behoort gekombineer te word met ekonomiese- en omgewingsprogramme, om sodoende geïntigreerde benaderings tot ontwikkeling te vorm. Stedelike landbou kan moontlik n katalisator vir verreikende ontwikkelingsprosesse soos plaaslike ekonomiese ontwikkeling wees, waar minder-bevoorregte gemeenskappe werksversekering en -geleenthede het en daar ook voedsel-sekuriteit is. Die voorsiening van geleenthede vir stedelike landbou maak dit nie net moontlik om die behoefte aan voedsel van minder-bevoorregte stedelinge te bevredig nie, maar verseker ook langdurige, volhoubare stedelike nedersettings.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53706