Presenter Information

Hamil Pearsall, Temple University

Start Date

25-9-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

25-9-2018 5:00 PM

Abstract

This presentation examines urban agriculture in Philadelphia and highlights the challenges of institutionalizing this historically informal urban activity into formal city policy over the last two decades. Urban agriculture has become a symbol of Philadelphia’s economic revitalization, sustainability, and increasingly, its gentrification. Often characterized by advocates as an urban panacea, gardening and farming seem to promise solutions to many different urban problems, such as blighted vacant lots, food insecurity, stormwater runoff, and neighborhood decline. However, questions of land tenure, the use of economic resources, and the long-term viability of urban agriculture shape the political discourse about the future of growing in the city and its role in promoting urban sustainability. Through archival research, a media content analysis, and interviews with urban farmers, gardeners, and city officials, this research examines urban agriculture’s role in Philadelphia’s transition to economic and environmental sustainability.

Biography

Dr. Pearsall is an associate professor in the Geography and Urban Studies Department at Temple University. She is an urban environmental geographer with expertise in the environmental and social justice dimensions of urban processes and change. Her research investigates environmental gentrification, the role of vacant land in urban greening efforts, and the impact of environmental justice on urban sustainability planning.

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Sep 25th, 4:00 PM Sep 25th, 5:00 PM

Growing a Sustainable City: The Question of Urban Agriculture

This presentation examines urban agriculture in Philadelphia and highlights the challenges of institutionalizing this historically informal urban activity into formal city policy over the last two decades. Urban agriculture has become a symbol of Philadelphia’s economic revitalization, sustainability, and increasingly, its gentrification. Often characterized by advocates as an urban panacea, gardening and farming seem to promise solutions to many different urban problems, such as blighted vacant lots, food insecurity, stormwater runoff, and neighborhood decline. However, questions of land tenure, the use of economic resources, and the long-term viability of urban agriculture shape the political discourse about the future of growing in the city and its role in promoting urban sustainability. Through archival research, a media content analysis, and interviews with urban farmers, gardeners, and city officials, this research examines urban agriculture’s role in Philadelphia’s transition to economic and environmental sustainability.