Featured Thesis: Investigating the intersection of urban agriculture and urban planning…in Victoria, Canada

An M.Sc. thesis in the Department of Geography, by Abdolzaher Ghezeljeh

https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/11736

Abstract:

The world is home to predominantly urbanized populations that continue to grow. In an increasingly urbanized world, cities suffer from various challenges, including urban poverty and food insecurity, which result in unsustainability, health concerns, and crime increase. Many reasons affect urban poverty, including controversial government policies, an imbalance between existing resources and demands, and inefficient urban management and planning. Integrating urban agriculture (UA) into development policies can alleviate urban poverty and food insecurity in cities. Therefore, a line of research seems necessary to gain a better understanding of various ways to boost food production and improve sustainability in cities. To this end, the present study attempts to investigate the role of urban planning and governance in community gardens in Victoria to examine how urban planning and governance can support food production. A qualitative research method with semi-structured interviews and community mapping workshops were used within three groups of governmental, non-governmental, and residential actors in Victoria, Canada. Eighteen participants were interviewed, and eight participants took part in workshops held in the James Bay and Fernwood neighbourhoods. The three proposed research questions in this study were analyzed by thematic analysis using NVivo 10 software. The findings revealed that nine themes should be considered to improve food production in Victoria. The themes include improving UA economic efficiency, increasing awareness, gaining community satisfaction, effective landuse policies, productive partnership, improving the long bureaucratic procedure, offering grants, providing resources and facilities for gardeners, and changes in existing zoning bylaws. In addition, the findings of the workshops show that the City of Victoria plays the most crucial role in UA projects. Study results reveal that the compost education center, residents, and community centres should create an active partnership with the City towards improving community gardens.

To read more, visit UVicSpace https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/11736

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