A Critique of Localist Political Economy and Urban Agriculture

in Historical Materialism
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Abstract

In the Global North, Urban Agriculture (UA) is being considered as a way to overcome malnutrition and promote local, ethical production. UA can be understood through two phenomena integral to the capitalist mode of production: capital centralisation and rent. Centralisation explains why capitalist agriculture industrialises, while rent provides a theoretical framework for understanding how social and spatial relations structure urban land uses. Urban farming can occupy niches of the capitalist marketplace; however, its prospects for replacing large-scale agriculture and providing similar use-values are limited. Its expansion is bounded by rising land values expressed in rent, as Detroit’s urban farm, Markham’s food belt, Los Angeles’s community garden, and initiatives in other cities demonstrate. The key tasks for political ecologists are two-fold: situating UA within capital’s drive to accumulate and proposing strategic perspectives that challenge these inherent tendencies.

A Critique of Localist Political Economy and Urban Agriculture

in Historical Materialism

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    Bryan 1990p. 180.

  • 73.

    Marx 1981p. 751.

  • 74.

    Harvey 2006pp. 375 391.

  • 75.

    Fine 1979p. 269.

  • 76.

    Harvey 2006pp. 349 354 370.

  • 77.

    Murray 1977p. 120.

  • 78.

    SPIN Farming n.d. p. 2.

  • 79.

    Toronto Food Policy Council 1999p. 20; Roberts 2008 p. 175.

  • 80.

    Key and Roberts 2007.

  • 81.

    Harvey 2006pp. 377 379.

  • 82.

    Gombu 2010a.

  • 83.

    Robb n.d. pp. 22 23 28.

  • 84.

    Reynolds 2010.

  • 85.

    Hseih 2010a.

  • 86.

    Hseih 2010a; Hseih 2010b.

  • 87.

    Robb n.d. p. 10.

  • 88.

    Gombu 2010b.

  • 89.

    Robb n.d. p. 24; yorkregion.com 2009.

  • 90.

    Harvey 2006p. 368.

  • 91.

    Murray 1978p. 28.

  • 92.

    O’Connor 1973p. 206; Dupuis 2009 p. 3.

  • 93.

    Harvey 2006p. 371.

  • 94.

    Garr 2009.

  • 96.

    Food and Hunger Action Committee 2003p. 14.

  • 97.

    Friendly 2008pp. 29 7 27.

  • 98.

    McKibben 2007pp. 105 128.

  • 99.

    Carlsson 2008pp. 95 100 102.

  • 100.

    Roberts 2008p. 20.

  • 101.

    Carlsson 2008pp. 82 83 88 87.

  • 103.

    Friendly 2008pp. 22 8; Toronto Food Policy Council 1996 p. 10.

  • 104.

    Roberts 2008pp. 53 64.

  • 105.

    Food and Hunger Action Committee 2003p. 34.

  • 108.

    Friendly 2008pp. 27–48.

  • 109.

    Food and Hunger Action Committee 2003p. 20.

  • 110.

    Toronto Food Policy Council 1996p. 20.

  • 111.

    Kirkpatrick and Tarasuk 2009p. 138.

  • 112.

    Bellows and Hamm 2001p. 276.

  • 113.

    Kirkpatrick and Tarasuk 2009p. 138.

  • 115.

    Friendly 2008p. 24.

  • 116.

    Kirkpatrick and Tarasuk 2009p. 135.

  • 117.

    Dachner 2008.

  • 118.

    Kato 2012p. 8.

  • 119.

    Kingsolver 2007p. 115.

  • 120.

    Smithers 2010.

  • 121.

    Goodman 2004p. 8.

  • 122.

    Jowit 2008.

  • 123.

    Wood 2008.

  • 124.

    Soil Association 2012p. 3. The report states that sales of organic produce continued to grow in overseas markets quadrupling in China over five years although no data is provided on the size of the initial market.

  • 125.

    Smithers 2009. This also does not address the false conflation of ‘local’ with ‘organic’ and ‘quality’; see Winter 2003 pp. 30–1.

  • 126.

    McKibben 2007p. 107; Food and Hunger Action Committee 2001 p. 38.

  • 127.

    O’Connor 1973pp. 169 87.

  • 128.

    Toronto Food Policy Council 1999pp. 15 9 17.

  • 129.

    Glaister 2009; Branigan 2009; Streit 2009.

  • 130.

    Friendly 2008p. 38; Hughes 2005 p. 497.

  • 131.

    Carlsson 2008p. 105.

  • 133.

    Whitford 2009.

  • 134.

    Hoffman 2006.

  • 135.

    Becerra Garvey Hymon Doan and Helfand 2006.

  • 136.

    Hoffman 2006.

  • 137.

    Roberts 2008pp. 139 154.

  • 139.

    Edel 1977p. 7.

  • 140.

    Carlsson 2008pp. 84 103.

  • 141.

    Katz 1986p. 72.

  • 142.

    Engels 1970Chapter 2.

  • 143.

    Katz 1986pp. 75–6.

  • 144.

    Gough and Eisenschitz 1996p. 183.

  • 145.

    Sharzer 2012Chapter 5 discusses this question in more detail.

  • 146.

    Harvey 2011p. 19.

  • 147.

    Harvey 2011p. 120.

  • 148.

    Bernstein 2010p. 304.

  • 149.

    Marx 1981p. 216.

  • 150.

    Kovel 2007p. 173.

  • 151.

    Wiskerke Bock Stuiver and Renting 2003.

  • 152.

    Giménez and Shattuck 2011pp. 115–16.

  • 153.

    Heynen Perkins and Roy 2006; Moore 2010p. 392; Swyngedouw 2009.

  • 154.

    Bernstein 2010pp. 301–3.

  • 155.

    Swyngedouw 2009pp. 609 612

  • 156.

    Winter 2003p. 30.

  • 157.

    McKibben 2007p. 236; Carlsson 2008 p. 46.

  • 158.

    Roberts 2008pp. 23 48.

  • 159.

    Weis 2010p. 335.

  • 160.

    Weis 2010p. 337.

  • 161.

    Murray 1978p. 29.

  • 162.

    Goodman 2004p. 8.

  • 163.

    White 2008p. 70.

  • 164.

    Despommier 2011p. 236.

  • 165.

    White 2008p. 71.

  • 166.

    Elton 2009.

  • 167.

    Vidal and Meikle 2010.

  • 168.

    Friendly 2008pp. 31 50.

  • 169.

    Swnygedouw 2009pp. 616 608.

  • 170.

    Kato 2012.

  • 171.

    Goodman 2003p. 2.

  • 172.

    Freidberg and Goldstein 2011p. 27.

  • 173.

    McKibben 2007p. 73.

  • 174.

    Roberts 2008pp. 89 92.

  • 175.

    Gropas 2006p. 265.

  • 176.

    Gropas 2006p. 253.

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