Monday, April 22, 2013

Unique Summer course: Farming the City (Summer 2013)



SPEA-E 400 (Class #15628)

Summer 2013: First 6-Weeks, 3-Credits

Meeting Times & Location: M-F 4:00-5:15 PM @ IU’s Hilltop Nature Center

Instructor: Dr. John D. Galuska

Course Information:, 855-6215


Course Description: Feeding the world’s ever-increasing urban population presents both significant challenges and surprising opportunities. As cities continue to grow, individuals, families, food activists, organizations, urban planners, and governments are turning to forms of urban agriculture to help confront food security issues. Urban agriculture practices involve the growing, processing, and distribution of food and other products through intensive plant cultivation and small-scale animal husbandry in and around cities. From Bloomington to Brazil, from Cuba to Cambodia, from Toronto to Tanzania, well-established forms of urban agriculture thrive alongside a range of innovative food sovereignty initiatives and projects.

Farming the City examines how forms of urban agriculture are providing cities and citizens with access to local food sources, new employment opportunities, and are positively transforming urban ecologies. The course begins with a focus on the concepts of food security and food sovereignty. Next the rapidly growing urban agriculture movement is examined through readings that feature the work of pioneering urban farmers and innovative non-profits. A second set of readings then explores the major benefits and risks associated with urban farming techniques and practices in multiple cities around the world. Throughout the course students will have meaningful opportunities to visit local farms and gardens on and off campus. Each student will also select a site for a service-learning project as part of a “taking action” assignmnent. Together, the course readings, service-learning experiences, and work sessions at gardening sites, will provide students with practical knowledge related to growing food productively in urban contexts. The final paper students write will make cross-cultural, regional, or technical linkages between specific urban agriculture practices in multiple cities of the world.