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This paper examines the role of urban agriculture (UA) projects in relieving food insecurity in lowerincome neighborhoods of post-industrial U.S. cities, using Philadelphia as a case study. Based on food justice literature and mixed-methods such as GIS, survey, field observations, and interviews, we discuss how neighborhoods, nearby residents, and the local food economy interact with UA projects. Our findings suggest that, although UA projects occupy a vital place in the fight against community food insecurity in disadvantaged inner-city neighborhoods, there are debates and concerns associated with the movement. These concerns include geographic, economic, and informational accessibility of UA projects; social exclusion in the movement; spatial mismatch between UA participants and neighborhood socioeconomic and racial profiles; distribution of fresh produce to populations under poverty and hunger; and UA’s economic contributions in underprivileged neighborhoods. Finally, we outline future research directions that are significant to understanding the practice of UA.


Originally published open access as:

Meenar, M. R., & Hoover, B. M. (2012). Community food security via urban agriculture: Understanding people, place, economy, and accessibility from a food justice perspective. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 3(1), 143–160.