A book about using food as a tool for urban development

In development

Date begun

Local food systems have the potential to catalyse change: community-based food production, processing, distribution and consumption initiatives can work together to improve economic, environmental and social outcomes. Taking this approach, Farming the City approaches the relationship between food and the city in a holistic way. This book represents our efforts to create shared visions, a shared vocabulary, and a degree of cohesion between individuals and organisations that traditionally do not interact well. Cultural change at this level is risky, and much is at stake; raising awareness and discussing the issues is always a necessary first step.

Our journey into local food systems and their potential positive impact on our society has brought us into contact with many activists and thinkers behind the truly inspirational range of ingenious and innovative projects taking place across the urban food field. This incredible display of activity led us to realise that our work presented the perfect opportunity to “join the dots” and map the new space in which these cultural entrepreneurs are operating. This book shows how to use food as a tool to approach many problems of today’s urbanization from a human, locally oriented perspective. Therefore, it aims to trace a path towards a socially, culturally and economically resilient society; a place where inclusive, locally-oriented modes of production are not only possible, but preferable.

With an introduction written by Carolyn Steel, UK-based architect and author of Hungry City, the book progresses by further mapping emerging territory: the food field and food planning. The book's second section aims to unpick the complex relationship between food economies and a new social topography: involvement and co-creation as drivers of citizen engagement. The third section of the book explores practical strategies for supporting the development of cohesive urban communities.
The final section of the book is an ode to invention, innovation and inspiration. The Farming the City Collection showcases 34 exemplary urban farming projects from the global north, providing valuable insight into how citizens, entrepreneurs, organisations and public officers are using food as a tool to re-interpret contemporary notions of urban living, working and collaboration.

This book is the summary of the work CITIES did in 3 years of research, by defining our results and our recommendations; we finally sign the epilogue of FARMING THE CITY.

Out in April 2013
Published by Transvaliz

Edited by CITIES

For pre-order write to

Related tags

Related news

More publications


Contribute towards


Deadline for submissions
Read more
© 2022 CITIES.
All rights reserved.
Make a donation to CITIES