AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science

Resilience and Social Justice as the Basis for Urban Food System Reform - A Case Study of Bristol, U.K.

by Mark Wilson

Institution: Uppsala University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Urban Agriculture; Urban Food Policy; Social-Ecological Resilience; Social Justice; Sustainable Development; Natural Sciences; Earth and Related Environmental Sciences; Naturvetenskap; Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap; Masterprogram i hållbar utveckling; Master Programme in Sustainable Development; Sustainable development; Hållbar utveckling
Record ID: 1371006
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-218038


This paper considers the contribution of urban agriculture to the local food system and the role of the city council in this system. Using an interdisciplinary mixed method approach, the study explores local stakeholders’ perspectives of these aspects in the city of Bristol, UK. The findings were viewed through the lenses of two conceptual frameworks, resilience and social justice . The results reveal that urban agriculture increases resilience through building community, maintaining a diverse food supply network, and strengthening adaptability by retaining the knowledge and skills to produce food. Urban agriculture also supports social justice, by providing access to healthy food, promoting equality and inclusion, and encouraging healthier living through education. Furthermore, the results indicate that the city council can increase resilience and support social justice in the local food system through four key interventions; their procurement policy, urban planning, assisting urban agriculture initiatives, and developing a holistic urban food policy. In conclusion, urban agriculture is regarded as more than a form of food production because local stakeholders use it to support a broad range of social objectives. Developing an urban food policy is the shared responsibility of the city council as well as private and voluntary sector actors. Resilience and social justice are advocated as normative goals of the food system, and can be used as frameworks to guide the complex process of urban food system reform.