Dépôt numérique

Home-grown food: How do urban form, socio-economic status and ethnicity influence food gardens in Montréal?

Pham, Thi-Thanh-Hien; McClintock, Nathan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3634-3799 et Duchemin, Eric (2022). Home-grown food: How do urban form, socio-economic status and ethnicity influence food gardens in Montréal? Applied Geography , vol. 145 . pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2022.102746.

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Urban agriculture (UA) – what we define in this paper as the production of food in cities – has enjoyed renewed popularity in North America over the past two decades, comprising a range of forms, from commercial and large-scale farms to small-scale production spaces namely community, collective, school or residential gardens (Artmann and Sartison, 2018; Russo, Escobedo et al., 2017). Studies from a variety of cities, suggest that anywhere from a third to a half of city dwellers grow some of their own food (e.g. McClintock, Mahmoudi et al., 2016; National Gardening Association, 2009). Research has demonstrated how urban farms and gardens provide a suite of ecosystems services such as food, fiber, water filtration, and socio-cultural services (aesthetic enjoyment, restoration of traditional plants, and social connection, etc) (Clarke and Jenerette, 2015; Porter, 2018). Farms and food gardens also serve as important green spaces for a variety of recreational and educational activities that can improve nutrition and mental health (Garcia, Ribeiro et al., 2017; McVey, Nash et al., 2018). They are important sites of social and cultural interactions (Baker, 2004; McVey, Nash et al., 2018; Strunk and Richardson, 2019) and political mobilization (Tornaghi and Certomà, 2018). Recognizing these benefits and responding to public demand, city governments across the US and Canada have made efforts to support UA, from lifting onerous zoning restrictions to leasing public land for production to funding pilot programs. The focus of our study is residential UA – which includes ‘home gardens’, ‘domestic gardens’ or ‘kitchen gardens’. We use the term ‘food garden’ in this paper to clarify that we are not including gardens that are primarily ornamental in nature (e.g., flower gardens, landscaping), but which produce edible vegetables and fruits. More specifically, a residential food garden is a single-plot garden on the same lot as a single-family or multi-family building (Taylor and Lovell, 2012) or adjacent to residential buildings (Pulighe and Lupia, 2016). Residential food gardens are the dominant form of UA in North American cities. One Chicago study, for example, estimated that residential food gardens produce three times more food than community gardens do (Taylor and Lovell, 2012). Government support for residential agriculture does exist; for example, in the City of Montréal, boroughs have been organizing workshops and providing advice to residents who want to start a food garden. Municipal libraries give free seeds and small plants in early spring each year. However, given that residential UA takes place largely on private property and is largely considered a recreational pastime, such support has perhaps been less pronounced than governmental support for highly visible, larger-scale commercial ventures. Furthermore, despite its predominance, residential food production has received less attention in the literature than these other forms of UA. To date, a small number of studies have mapped residential UA practices – McClintock, Mahmoudi et al. (2016) in Portland, Taylor and Lovell (2012) in Chicago, Pulighe and Lupia (2016) in Rome, Marie (2019) in three French cities. Other studies of UA have complemented geospatial analysis of residential UA with either an analysis of the built environment and urban form (Lin, Gaston et al., 2017) or of socio-economic differences (Conway and Brannen, 2014; Taylor, Lovell et al., 2016). Qualitative ethnographic accounts of gardeners have underscored the importance of home gardens not only as a means of provisioning, but as a cultural practice, particularly for immigrants for whom gardening serves as a link to their countries of origin (e.g. Airriess and Clawson, 1994; Hondagneu-Sotelo, 2014; Kortright and Wakefield, 2011; Mazumdar and Mazumdar, 2012). These studies notwithstanding, our knowledge of the extent of residential food gardens in cities is rather limited, as is our understanding of the relationships between motivations, gardening practices, and socio-economic and ethno-cultural characteristics of home gardeners. A better understanding of such relationships is not only needed to fill a gap in the literature, it can inform policy makers and municipal staff to create locally suited policies on UA, food planning and public health (Siegner, Sowerwine et al., 2018; Taylor and Lovell, 2012, 2014), especially in ethnically diverse cities with large immigrant populations. As part of a larger study of UA in metropolitan Montréal (Québec, Canada) developed in collaboration with municipal and regional planners, health officials, and organizations focused on food security and sustainable food systems, we mapped and analyzed residential UA in five areas of the metro region, which together represent a diversity of urban forms, socioeconomic strata, and ethnic compositions. We attempt to answer the following questions: What is the extent of residential UA in our five study areas, and is it clustered spatially? And to what extent do variations in the built environment, socioeconomic strata, and ethnic composition impact the spatial concentration and distribution of residential urban agriculture in the study areas? We begin with a brief review of the literature on residential food gardens before turning to our methodology, results, and discussion. We find that home food gardening is widespread in the study areas and spatially clustered. After controlling for population density and housing types, gardens tend to be more concentrated in areas with higher percent of low-income households, higher percent of children, lower percent of university degree holders, and a higher percent of Southern European and South Asian immigrants. We conclude with recommendations for future research and potential implications for policy.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: jardin; jardinage; potager; agriculture urbaine; sécurité alimentaire; Montréal; Canada
Centre: Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Date de dépôt: 16 janv. 2023 20:00
Dernière modification: 16 janv. 2023 20:00
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/13138

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