Volume 17, Number 2, 2022

Isabelle Bianquis et Jean-Louis Yengué

«Foreword: From the Urban Garden… on the Plate: Analysis of the Spaces of Practices and Imaginaries» (p. 15-30)

Part 1: Public Policies, Environmental Issues and Citizen Participation

Serge Beronard

«The Recovery of Delays, Permaculture on Living Soil» (p. 33-62)

Abstract: To begin with, the author questions the semantic category of “urban agriculture”: what indeed is common to all the multiple activities classified under this generic term? His approach is based on an exploration of the notion through several spaces compared on a global scale, to arrive at the local level with the observation of small plots worked in living soil by permaculturists with whom the author has been discussing for months. The first part outlines the first lines of the debate on what could be a corpus of references or common values, both on a planetary scale, that of “global disorder” (Coline Serreau, documentary, 2010), and on a micro-scale, that of “local solutions” (ibid.).

In the second part, the author analyzes the subject of neglected urban spaces, invested or coveted by urban permaculturists, which intersect with the living spaces of the socially neglected. The author believes to see a possible return of the forest and the revival of edges and margins. In synthesis, he proposes the idea that urban agriculture could herald “a major anthropological break” favoring cultivation on living soil and the end of plowing. This reflective essay is based on exchanges with urban permaculturists who are particularly close to Masanobu Fukuoka’s disruptive thinking on “wild agriculture” and “living soil” work, as well as to that of alter-landscape architects and urban planners who have theorized about third places in the city. The author proposes another look at the socio-spatial margins in the city, especially the gardens of resistance at the intersection of the shadow of the forests and the raw, low light of the cleared land.

Key-words: transition-edge; urban agriculture; permaculture; the forsaken wastelands

Carmen Cantuarias-Villessuzanne et Mathilde Vignau

«Analyzing Western Urban Agriculture through the Concept of Environmental Capital» (p. 67-117)

Abstract: Experienced for a long time in emerging countries, urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) knows a growing interest in Western countries since the end of the 19th century. In France, the first concrete examples of these new agricultural practices in the city center or in the inner suburbs are those of the allotment gardens which appear in the wake of the French League of Coin de Terre et du Foyer, created in 1896 at the initiative of Father Jules-Auguste Lemire. Later, in the early 1970s, the concomitant emergence of the Green Guerillas movement and community gardens. Since then, cities in industrialized countries have increasingly been affected by a paradigm shift that shows a strong comeback of the countryside and nature in the city. In fact, the importance of new UPA practices is evident in the sense that they arouse the interest of several institutions and governments at all scales. In addition, the functions and objectives of the UPA are multiple. It raises both the question of urban food resources, the improvement of the living environment, the revaluation of abandoned wasteland or, more generally, the sustainable development and preservation of natural ecosystems

Polymorphic and multifunctional and a solution based on nature, UPA is therefore distinguished by a wide variety of agricultural practices which abound and multiply in French and European cities regardless of their size. Such diversity necessarily translates into many questions and issues that directly affect urban and peri

-urban territories. This contribution proposes to analyze UPA projects by focusing more specifically on the concepts of natural capital and environmental capital.

Thus, the objective of this work is to analyze the economic models involved in the French UPA projects, through a theoretical grid of environmental capital. This means shedding new light on the already well-documented concept of UPA, with the aim of formalizing a new mapping of contemporary UPA projects in France.

Key-words: urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA); environmental capital; natural capital; nature in the city

Fabien Jakob

«Rezoning of the Terres Agricoles d’Esperance in Quebec: An Agri-Food and Ecological Issue» (p. 119-158)

Abstract: Using tools from the sociology of justification (Boltanski et Thévenot)), this study demonstrates how the participatory and deliberative revision of the Quebec land use planning and development scheme may cause to reconsider social expectations towards agriculture that support more reasonable or responsible practices, but may also reflect rising ecological concerns that establish new ways of valuing nature as common good.

Key-words:deliberative; planning; territory; agriculture; peri-urban; justification; ecology

Amélie Robert et Yves Petit-Berghem

«Urban Agriculture Facing the New Challenges of the Nourishing and Sustainable City: Geohistorical Approach and New Perspectives from the Examples of Tours Metropole Val de Loire and the Region Île-de-France (France)» (p. 159-215)

Abstract: Urban agriculture is growing in France and, consequently, it is becoming more and more important in public policies. However, it has not always been considered so favorably. The city has rather progressed to the detriment of agriculture and today agriculture is mostly imposed on marginalized spaces. Our article takes a geohistorical look at urban agriculture, based first on existing literature. We thus show the evolution from a marginalization of agriculture to an agrarianization of the city. Some examples taken in Tours Métropole Val de Loire (market gardening and allotment gardens) and Île-de-France (abandoned urban areas: urban micro-farms and eco-districts) are an opportunity to question the current place of agriculture in a city that now wants to be nourishing and sustainable, allowing us to imagine its insertion in the city of tomorrow.

Key-words: urban agriculture; geohistorical approach; Loire Valley; Île-de-France

Gérald Emmanuel Libongui, Noël Ovono Edzang, Jean-Bernard Mombo et François Laurent

«Market Gardening in Unbuildable Areas: A New Adaptation Strategy for Urban Agriculture in Libreville (Gabon)» (p. 217-245)

Abstract: Libreville has experienced accelerated urbanization in recent decades at the expense of cultivated areas. Today, actors in this sector are facing land tenure insecurity. An analysis of the reconversion of flood zones that cannot be built for agricultural needs is presented. The objective is, on the one hand, to identify and assess the dynamics of the agricultural areas and built between 2008 and 2020; on the other hand, to determine the strategies of farmers to adapt to the expansion of the city. The methodological approach used combines multisource satellite data, interviews and field surveys, in order to propose a model of the explanatory factors for the location of current market garden sites, from an implementation of the data in a GIS. Finally, the mapping of agricultural areas dynamics reveals the degradation of agriculture by the construction and evolution of exploited spaces which include those five parameters. At the same time, lands that cannot be built on because of the flood, but also those near urban areas, are gradually occupied by farmers as the city grows..

Key-words: urban agriculture; market gardening; flood zones; urbanization; spatial analysis

Part 2: Food, Economic and Social Functions of Cultivated Urban Territories

Charlotte Beaufils

«Urban Community Gardens, Places with Untapped Food Potential: The Parisian Case» (p. 249-283)

Abstract: Based on the Parisian example, this article is part of the current scientific debate regarding the food contribution of urban collective gardens. Based on the proven existence of fruit and vegetable production in Parisian collective gardens, the article aims to examine the potential contribution of these spaces to the diet of their gardening users. It is based on a study conducted with collective garden managers, combined with manual analysis of aerial images of gardening sites and vacant spaces, as well as quantification of production rates of harvested volumes. The results obtained show that Parisian collective gardens do not meet the needs of their users in terms of fruits and vegetables. They are a limited help in improving the quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed per person. On the other hand, they contribute greatly to their dietary practices on a nutritional and social level by improving the diversity and quality of their diet while promoting social time around food. Their dietary role should therefore not be neglected in favor of other functions

Key-words: urban agriculture; community gardens; nutritional role; food production; remote sensing; quantification; Paris

Sécou Omar Diédhiou, Alioune Badara Dabo, Oumar Sy et Christine Margetic

«Agriculture and Urban Food System in Ziguinchor (Senegal): Actors, Circuits, Practices, and Challenges» (p. 285-326)

Abstract: A source of food for the populations, agriculture represents a key economic activity for precarious urban households and plays a major role in the food system of the city of Ziguinchor. It is characterized by a diversity of actors, organized or not in networks, and its products pass through various marketing circuits, thus contributing to the food security of city dwellers. This food security is now one of the major challenges for the city, linked to population growth. It leads to new relationships between agricultural actors and urban actors in a rapidly expanding city. Through the supply of city dwellers with vegetables, this article looks back on the actors of agriculture, in particular women farmers, the circuits, the practices, and the challenges of the development of agricultural activity in the city of Ziguinchor. These learnings are all keys to understanding urban production basins, links, networks, and distribution circuits of local or non-local food products in the city of Ziguinchor. The analysis is based on a questionnaire and a corpus of interviews conducted with commercial players (wholesalers, retailers, intermediaries), market gardeners and consumers. The results show a mobilization of networks used by various actors and distribution channels of food products. In addition, the diversity of actors, networks, mobilized flows and circuits helps to promote results in terms of food security.

Key-words: urban agriculture; food system; short food circuits; geographic proximity; food safety; Ziguinchor; Senegal

Louise Clochey, Valérie Lavaud-Letilleul et Élodie Valette

«Leading an Urban Agriculture Initiative in Working-Class Neighborhoods: New Actors in Activism and Entrepreneurship, Dunkirk Perspectives» (p. 327-381)

Abstract: Urban agriculture is correlated with the response to crises and vulnerabilities. It is promoted by many stakeholders as a tool of sustainable urban development. This article analyzes non-profit urban agriculture initiatives led by city residents in Dunkirk, a French industrial shrinking city, where such dynamics seem to be weak, and in Grande-Synthe, a city of the urban area, paying particular attention to them. We especially analyze five initiatives and the people behind them by highlighting their alternative, radical (supposed to improve the underprivileged populations’ livelihoods) and neoliberal (supposed to increase social inequalities) features. We put a particular emphasis on the place of the disadvantaged population, who are in the majority in the area, and on the role of public policies in the emergence and orientation of those urban agriculture initiatives. We underline simultaneous and contradictory affiliations of the initiatives to neoliberal, alternative and radical functions of urban agriculture, and the influence personal and territorial path play on it.

key-words: urban agriculture; Dunkerque; activism; entrepreneurship

Anthony Tchékémian

«Urban Agriculture in French Polynesia: From the Traditional fa’a’apu to the Collective Garden. The Example of the Garden of the University Residence of Outumaoro» (p. 383-413)

Abstract: The current sanitary crisis questions the capacity of production systems, particularly agricultural and industrial systems, to cope with disasters. The protection measures put in place at the state level encourage a return to the local level. Traditionally, for several generations, Polynesians have cultivated a family garden, called fa’a’apu. This garden allows them to feed themselves, through the fruits and vegetables they grow, but also to treat themselves with medicinal plants. From a resilient perspective, we will develop the example of a collective garden, initiated by students living in the university campus. This garden appears to be a response to the increase in prices observed since the beginning of the health crisis. In addition, the students, who are isolated and far from their families, find that working on the land creates a social link in the residence. Moreover, the garden improves their living environment and offers them an occupation that is experienced as soothing, which some link to their Polynesian identity, citing the practice of fa’a’apu.

Key-words: Tahiti; collective gardens; campus; student residence

Flora Rich et Yves Petit-Berghem

«Home Gardening and the Ecological Transition of Small Towns Under Metropolitan Influence: the Case of Magny-en-Vexin, Île-de-France, France» (p. 415-475)

Abstract: Located one hour from Paris and only 25 kilometers from Cergy, Magny-en-Vexin is a commune in the Val-d’Oise department (France) with a population of nearly 5,600. Surrounded by fields and forests, Magny is part of a regional nature park and is crossed by the Aubette, a river that was once used for the town’s domestic and economic needs, and was the basis for the development of its crafts and small-scale industry (mills, tanneries, chairs factory, sugar mills). Of the bundle of human activities once gathered along the water, the gardens are among the last uses. They enable a dialogue to be recreated with the inhabitants and their elected representatives, who are not only concerned about the risk of flooding from a river whose course and landscapes have been overly artificialized. The gardeners are the actors of new practices that contribute to redefining a meaning but also an intimate relationship with these river spaces for which we are trying to recognize “the value of the place”. Beyond the fence and the object that separates, the gardens seem to constitute today a new lever of appropriation and renewal of a historical landscape; they participate in the revitalization of a town center and bring to light a diversity of socio-spatial forms and practices inducing new looks as well as new individual and collective actions.

Based on surveys and in situ observations carried out as part of the Popsu Territoires action research program “Magny-en-Vexin, a small town under metropolitan influence… in search of its lost territory”, this proposal aims to demonstrate that gardens represent an opportunity to rethink the foundations of an urban project where the future is drawn in common.

Key-words: territory; revitalization; gardens; gardening practices; urban project

Part 3: Practices and Representations of Urban Agriculture

Francesca Di Pietro et Emmanuèle Gardair

«Vegetable Gardening in the City. Social Norms and Control of Nature in Allotment Gardens» (p. 479-518)

Abstract:This research focuses on a particular urban space, the allotment gardens. It investigates the relative weight of the norms of the controlled garden, without any spontaneous vegetation, and the natural garden, cultivated without pesticides. It looks at the effect of the gardeners’ status (ordinary gardeners versus gardeners-managers) and gender, and of the urban gradient, apprehended by the density of the built environment (low, intermediate or dense). Semi-structured interviews on the motivations and representations of gardening were conducted with 46 gardeners (16 women and 30 men; 17 manager-gardeners and 29 ordinary gardeners). The textual analysis was carried out using Alceste software. Three lexical universes, relating to gardening practices, the relationship with nature and garden management, emerged from the discourses. The results highlight the effect of the gardener’s status and the urban gradient. The preponderance of the aesthetic norm leading to the search for a chimerical “beautiful vegetable garden” is discussed.

Key-words: urban gardening; allotment gardens; social norm; aesthetic norm; textual analysis

Sophie Laligant

«The Egg and the Cull Hen. A New Way of Thinking Urban Agriculture under Covid-19 Time (Sarthe)» p. 519-567)

Abstract: Debate on the reconfiguration of social and territorial relations in urban agriculture is a classic field of analysis around the issues raised on a global scale at the beginning of the 21st century, such as the damage of the environment and animal and plant biodiversity, the climate change, the lack of resources, and the economic insecurity. However, this question has never been raised with such acuteness as since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the confinement and an unprecedent ethnography gathered in the west of the Sarthe region gathered, I mobilize in this article the notion of disorder borrowed from Gregory Bateson. Such notion directly resonates with a photograph of the egg stall taken in a supermarket (Super U) on March 27, 2020. With this frozen picture, my intention is to reverse the focus by starting not from the actors but from the objects, and to thwart some of illusions such as the vegetation resulting from the work of the earth would be the only prism to think and “order” our conception of urban agriculture. Far from the city taken as a normative invariant because of its population, its urbanization and the type of activity, the egg and the cull hen reveal in a subtle way, through vernacular categories, other temporalities, other way of life and affective investments to the objects and spaces which re-articulate our ecological, economical, social and political understandings and categories until then unknown.

Key-words: ecology of categories; egg/cull hen; confinement, order/disorder; SARS-CoV-2; dysbiosis

Sandrine Ruhlmann

«Ethnographical Note on the Social Role of the Vegetable Garden and the Consideration of Vegetables in Post-Communist Mongolia. The Example of a Small Peri-Urban Vegetable Production» (p. 569-616)

Abstract: The basic diet of Mongolian families, urban and rural, nomadic and sedentary, remains meat and dairy products – the products that nourish, provide meals and are socially valued –, but the diet has changed significantly throughout the country since the beginning of the 2000s. Under the impetus of a public health policy of dietary diversification initiated in the 1990s, many families are gradually integrating starchy foods (consistency) and vegetables (various nutritional properties) into their daily diet. However, these products are expensive for a majority of households. This paper will present the activities of a family in a small provincial village in eastern Mongolia, who cultivate a vegetable garden on the outskirts of the village, some of which is used to supply extended family members at the commune level as well as their small general grocery store in the village. After describing the family’s production site and the products grown, the note will draw the contours of the informal and formal circuits of these products to highlight the social and economic links created, maintained, and mobilized by the families for different purposes. As a matter of fact, this vegetable garden is the source of economic and social mutual aids where the vegetables grown and harvested are exchanged for goods and/or services.

Key-words: agriculture; vegetable garden; food; consumption; sale; mutual aid; networks; Mongolia

Manon Bouliane et Josyanne Proteau

«Domestic Food Production in Quebec: From Archetypal to Pluriversal Gardens» (p. 617-656)

Abstract: This article offers an analysis of the form and functions of kitchen gardens, the activities and interactions that take place there, and the meanings they hold for their protagonists. Laid out on private land adjoining a main residence, these vegetable gardens reveal a certain way of being in the world and testify to the transformations that have taken place in home gardening in recent decades. An ethnographic survey conducted in the Quebec region revealed the existence of two models of vegetable gardens: the 20th century archetype and the pluriversal garden. The article explores the aesthetic and productive dimensions of these gardens, the particular relationship to nature and non-humans that characterizes them, as well as the main vectors of the moral economy of which they are the expression. If they constitute a source of fresh food, these vegetable gardens are also the symbol of criticisms addressed to the conventional food system and to the consumer society.

Key-words: urban agriculture; self-production; home gardens; Quebec; aesthetics; relationship to nature; moral economy

Book Reviews

Yannick Baumann et Emmanuel Guay

Perspectives critiques et analyse territoriale. Applications urbaines et régionales, Hélène Bélanger et Dominic Lapointe (dir.), Québec, Presses de l’Université du Québec, 2019, 224 p. (p. 657-664)

Marie-Christine Brault

Nos enfants sous microscope. TDA/H, hauts potentiels, multi-dys & Cie : comment stopper l’épidémie de diagnostics, Emmanuelle Piquet et Alessandro Elia, Paris, Payot, coll. « Psychologie », 2021, 332 p. (p. 665-672)

Leonardo G. Rodriguez Zoya

Del fascismo al populismo en la historia, Federico Finchelstein, Buenos Aires, Taurus, 2019, 407 p. (p. 673-678)

Denis Martouzet

Les émotions de la terre. Des nouveaux mots pour un nouveau monde,  Glen Albrecht, Paris, Les liens qui libèrent, traduit de l’anglais par Corinne Smith, 2020 [2019], 370 p. (p. 679-683)