Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


References Relevant To Urban Agriculture

Nutrition and Urban Agriculture
The United Nations University Press
Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Volume 9, Number 2, June 1987

Introduction: Urban agriculture and self-reliance
Urban agriculture and the metabolism of cities
Improving urban agriculture in Africa: a social perspective
Examples of urban agriculture in Asia
Small-scale agricultural production in urban areas in Poland
Community food production in cities of the developing nations Isabel Wade
Urban agriculture: the potential and limitations of an urban self-reliance strategy Pablo Gutman

Urban Blight and Farmer's Plight: Peri-Urban Agriculture Around Kumasi
By Ghana M.Adam, P. Sarfo-Mensah and H. Warburton

Farming systems components and practices around Kumasi are described and the kinds of people who depend on them, and to what extent, outlined. Low input - low output systems on declining soil fertility are commonly engaged in by those with least opportunity to change, often women and the poor. Some other systems are operated as short-term solutions to improving livelihoods. Soil classification and fertility assessment by scientists and farmers is often over-ridden by other land qualities in land use allocation. Farmers respond to the pressures of the situation in different ways. They do not always intensify their farming systems. They are often limited by lack of capital, knowledge and skills. Technological options are, however, available which can help to improve their situation. Land security for sustainable peri-urban agriculture is a key factor and it is suggested that the interpretation, use and misses of the tenure system rather than the system itself are responsible for the lack of emergence of sustainable agricultural livelihoods.

Urban Agriculture in History Book References

Jac Smit February 2004

These documents focus on vegetable and herb production and that's not all of urban agriculture.

The Agriculture 'edicts' of Charlemaigne included what was to be grown inside of towns. Looking for reference.

History of Food, Toussaint-Samat, M., 1992 British Library, [800 Pages. Best single ref is Emperor Charlemaine, Best chapter is VIII]

Agriculture through the Laboratory and School Garden, 1st 1905, 3rd 1913, by Jackson & Daugherty, Orange Judd Pub. 450 pages, tables & illus.

Gardening for Profit, Peter Henderson, first ed. 1887, Orange Judd, 2nd ed. 1991 American Botanist, diverse pagination +/- 300

Fields, Factories and Workshops of Tomorrow, 1899, 1909, 1919, 1968 and 1985, Peter Kropotkin writer and Colin Ward editor; Chapter 2, Pages 47-116, Freedom Press, London

The Story of Gardening, Martin Hoyles, 1991, Journeyman Press, 315 pp., illustrated

Greening of Public Housing, 25th Anniversary Flier in 1957 by the NYC Public Housing Authority

To Dwell is to Garden, 1987, Warner, S.B. pp. 13 - 20 NorthEastern Univ. Press [late 1900s to 1960s]

Charity Review 1898, Speirs et al, Detroit Mayor Hazen CS Pingree, [vacant lot farming in 16 cities including Detroit in the1890s, bibliography]

Coming to America, 1990 Daniels, Roger, Harper Collins

Community and Society, 1887 and 1957, Toennes, F. MSU Press, reprint

Die Grossstaedte und das Geistesleben; Simnel, George 1903, pages 185-206 in Jaarbuck de Gehe Shiftung, K. Buechert et al

Urbanism as a Way of Life, 1938, Wirth Louis, Am. Journal of Sociology XLIV-1-34

These two books about urban agriculture, alloments and community gardens around the world, are available in German:

Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen und Anne Holl, Hrsg.,
Die Wiederkehr der Gärten - Kleinlandwirtschaft im Zeitalter der Globalisierung,
Innsbruck: Studien Verlag 2000

Elisabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Renate Müller und Petra Becker, Hrsg.,
Die Gärten der Frauen - Zur sozialen Notwendigkeit von Kleinstlandwirtschaft╩ind Stadt und Land weltweit,
Herbolzheim: Centaurus 2002

Environentalism Unbound
Exploring New Pathways for Change
By Robert Gottlieb

Professor Gottieb presents a thoughtful analysis of urban agriculture in his new book on these pages:
Food in the City pp 243 - 252

Robert Gottlieb is Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College and Director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. He is the editor of The MIT Press Urban and Industrial Environments series.

"What was not as directly addressed in these developments was the purpose and capacity of community gardens and other urban agriculture initiatives providing a significant source of food production in the city. Could community gardens become an effective community food security strategy, and not just a marginal form of urban agriculture? Or were the land use, environmental, and economic constraints so great that joining the concepts "urban" and "agriculture" had to be considered outside the bounds of either an urban or agricultural policy framework? Could urban gardens and urban agriculture programs survive when urban land uses were so thoroughly driven by economic and often speculative real-estate interests, even when such land was publicly owned?"

Environentalism Unbound

Waste Composting for Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Closing the Rural - Urban Nutrient Cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa

Edited by P Drechsel, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Africa Office, Ghana and D Kunze, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Regional Office for Africa, Ghana

Publication Date: September╩2001 Number of Pages:╩256╩Pages Binding: Hardback ISBN: 0851995489 Price: £45.00 (US$80.00)

This "forthcoming" book is available here:

Rapid urbanization has created a major challenge with regard to waste management and environmental protection. However, the problem can be ameliorated by turning organic waste into compost for use as an agricultural fertilizer in peri-urban areas. This is especially significant in less developed countries, where food security is also a key issue. This book addresses these subjects and is based on papers presented at a workshop held in Ghana by the International Board for Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM, now part of the International Water Management Institute) and FAO. Special reference is given to Sub-Saharan Africa, with acknowledgement to experiences from other parts of the world. Contributing authors are from several European, as well as African, countries.

The potential use of waste stream products for soil amelioration in peri-urban interface agricultural production systems, P J C Harris, M Allison, H G Smith, H M Kindness and J Kelley

Economic, sociocultural, and environmental considerations
* The economic viability of organic waste composting, R G Niemeyer, H Litterscheidt and S Sanders
* Assessing farmers' perceptions of organic wastes as nutrient sources, P Drechsel, C Quansah, Kwame Nkrumah and S Asante-Mensah
* Environmental concerns of urban and peri-urban agriculture: Case studies from Accra and Kumasi, E Mensah, P Amoah, R C Abaidoo and P Drechsel
Turning urban waste into fertilizer for urban and peri-urban farmers: Case studies from East and West Africa
* Turning municipal waste into compost: The case of Ibadan, T Agbola
* Urban vegetable production in Lagos and Ibadan, M A O Oladokun
* Turning municipal waste into compost: The case of Accra, I Etuah-Jackson, W P Klaassen and J A Awuye
* Farming systems and farming inputs in and around Kumasi, K Nsiah-Gyabaah and M Adam
* An integrated waste management strategy for Kumasi, L Salifu
* Linking (peri-)urban agriculture and organic waste management in Dar es Salaam, S Kiango and J Amend
* Urban agriculture in Lomé, M E A Schreurs and H van Reuler
* Adding value to compost from urban household and market refuse in Lomé, A Kessler and J Helbig
* Optimizing nutrient recycling and urban waste management - new concepts from Northern Europe, J Magid, A Dalsgaard and M Henze Modelling urban and peri-urban biomass and nutrient flows
* Assessing the potential of organic waste recycling through the analysis of rural-urban carbon fluxes, C Binder and N Patzel
* The potential of co-composting in Kumasi - quantification of the urban and peri-urban nutrient balance, C Leitzinger
* Estimating rural-urban nutrient flows for mega-cities, J Færge, J Magid and F Penning de Vries
* Monitoring nutrient flows and economic performance in African farming systems: The NUTMON approach and its applicability to peri-urban agriculture, H van den Bosch, D Eaton, M S van Wijk, J Vlaming and A de Jager
* Definition and boundaries of the peri-urban interface: Patterns in the patchwork, M G Adam Urban agriculture: International support and capacity building in Africa, C J Sawio, L Spies and D Doucouré

National Institute of Urban Affairs (2000)
The Role of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Metropolitan City Management in the Developing Countries: A Case Study of Delhi
Research Study Series No. 74
New Delhi: NIUA

(The following note was prepared by Chris Furedy November 2000)

This study developed from earlier collaboration under the British DFID project on policy implications of air pollution on urban and peri-urban areas in developing countries. It main concern is the contribution of urban agriculture to the national capital area of Delhi in India. After a general discussion of urban agriculture, there is a review of the policy orientation and planning provisions of the Government of India that impinge on urban agricultural practices. The case study of Delhi is described as a 'cursory review.' It gives a considerable amount of information about Delhi from official sources, and the characteristics of the peri-urban area or rural-urban fringe. Information on vegetable growing, flower cultivation and dairies is summarized, with a mention of tree planting to combat air pollution. The trend to expansion of the built up area is noted, along with changing land-use patterns in the fringe, with more horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture and livestock rearing. Among the conclusions: urban agriculture is important but there is no clear responsibility for these varied activities in the capital area, and planning does not yet address the issue from the standpoint of the urban poor.

The Role of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Metropolitan City Management in the Developing Countries, 2000
Rs. 250; US$20 Research Study 74
The study tries to understand the concept and characteristics of urban agriculture, reviews the policies that might influence such developments, studies the importance given to urban agriculture, reviews the policies that might influence such developments, studies the importance given to urban agriculture in both city development and urban environmental management and estimates its potential role in sustainable urban development. Finally, the study tries to analyse the contribution of urban agriculture in the National Capital of Delhi.

The Peri-Urban Interface: A tale of two cities
by Dr. Robert Brook and Dr.Julio Davila
"Since 1995, the UK Department for International Development, through the Natural Resource Systems Programme, has been funding research into the impact of expanding cities upon natural resources in the surrounding peri-urban areas. The book describes research conducted so far in the two selected case studies city-regions: Kumasi in Ghana and Hubli-Dharwad in India."
Dr. Robert Brooks
Dr.Julio Dávila

Russian Poverty: Muddling Through Economic Transition with Garden Plots
Seeth, H.T.; Chachnov, S.; Surinov, A.; Von Braun, J. , pp. 1611-1624 , PDF (approx. 820.3KB)
World Development, Vol: 26, Issue: 9, September 1998

Resource Guide on Urban Agriculture

Prepared by ETC for CTA
June 1999, 277 pages
A CTA Working Document Series, number 8001
It includes Resource Organisations, Resource Persons, Newsletters and Web Sites.
Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (ACP-EU0) (CTA)
PO Box 380
6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands
phone +31 317 467100

Manual on Hydroponics by FAO

The book "LA HUERTA HIDROPONICA POPULAR" by C.Marulanda and J.Izquierdo published by FAO in 1991, reviewed by J.Izquierdo in 1998, is available (pdf document) on the site the The FAO Regional Office webpage under the publications click button, a no cost.

The exact address is:Download pdf

The English and Portuguese versions are also available on paper at request. An audio-visual( video) training course with nine classes, available on Spanish and Portuguese, is also available under request to the FAO Office. Both, the manual and video comprise all the materials needed for the itinerant training course on basic hydroponics that has been organised by FAO and requesting institutions at several times on different countries of LAC.

The contact person is Dr. Juan Izquierdo (, Regional FAO Officer for Plant Production and in charge of co-ordinating activities of FAO related to hydroponics in the LAC Region and associated to AGROPOLIS/CIID

Separation At Source At Household Level: Benefits And Challenges For Municipal Waste Reduction

Inge Lardinois and Christine Furedy, _Source Separation of Household Waste Materials: Analysis of Case Studies from Pakistan, the Philippines, India, Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands._ Urban Waste Series No. 7, UWEP. WASTE: Gouda, 2000.

In the context of sustainable development, separation at source has proved valuable in many re-use and recycling programmes. Separation systems exist in many Northern cities, and 'wet-dry' separation (involving the collection of separated organic wastes) are now being promoted in a number of cities. Collectively organized separation (involving, for instance, municipal councils and/or NGOs) are in pilot stages in several towns and cities in the South. Many cities have customary systems of separation based on the sale or donation of household materials and goods which could be expanded to wet/dry separation.

Keeping organic wastes pure by practising 'separation at source' is seen as the best procedure in the composting of urban organic wastes. Such compost, if efficiently produced and marketed, can be a valuable resource in urban and peri-urban agriculture, while contributing to more effective urban solid waste management.

WASTE, an environmental consulting foundation in Gouda, Netherlands, has recently published this book based on case studies of research and projects pertaining to the separation of household materials, in the interests of waste reduction in cities. Some of the projects were assisted by WASTE under their Urban Waste Expertise Programme funded by the Netherlands government. The book consists mainly of a series of case studies, by different authors, edited by Lardinois and Furedy, who have contributed discussion chapters. Both organic and inorganic post-consumption materials are covered. The cities included are: Karachi and Faisalabad, Bangalore, Metro Manila, and Armstrong, Chabas, Canada de Gomez, Firmat and Las Rosas in Argentina and San Francisco, Belo Horizonte, Porte Allegro, and Angra dos Reis in Brazil. The Netherlands approach to waste reduction is also included.

The benefits and challenges of separation at source have so far hardly been documented in low- and middle-income countries. The studies reported in this book attempt to assess the costs and benefits of both collectively-organized (e.g., by municipalities or NGOs) and 'customary' systems. There are discussions of the environmental and social benefits, with some comparison of the source separation schemes.

UWEP hopes this book helps to fill the information gap on separation at source and makes readers aware that the introduction and operation of source separation is a complex matter that must be evaluated in the context of social, political and economic conditions of individual countries.

Copies are sold by WASTE in Gouda. E-mail:

Urban Agriculture: An Abbreviated List of References and Resource Guide September 1997
Compiled By: Abiola Adeyemi Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Information Centers Branch National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2351

Getting Food on the Table: An Action Guide to Local Food Policy
is a new publication that provides community organizations, food advocates, and government staff with tools for developing innovative policy solutions. It contains case studies of established food policy councils; a department-by-department inventory of food-related city and country programs and policies , with action suggestions and federal funding tips; and advice on food policy organizing and starting a food policy council.
$12 (postage included) from the Community Food Security Coalition,
PO Box 209, Venice, CA 90294,

Reports on the Department for International Development project Peri-urban interface production system research Improved utilization of urban waste by near-urban farmers in the Hubli-Dharwad city-region

I (Chris Furedy) have received two reports from Dr. Fiona Nunan at University of Birmingham:

Proceedings of the workshop held at SDM College of Engineering and Technology, Dharwad, India, 1-2 Sept 1998. (Project no. ZE00800/R7099)

Abstract: The aim of the research is to explore how the supply side and the demand side (farmers, recycling companies, informal workers) might be more effectively linked to form a functioning market incorporating collection, disposal and treatment of urban waste, leading to improved solid waste management and a compost product that meets the farmers needs better.

Two villages have been selected for on-farm test of solid-waste-derived compost. The current fertility status has been assessed and composting pits using different mixes of urban solid wastes set up; waste separation behaviours have been assessed.


Phase I Report of the project on Improved utilization of urban waste by near-urban farmers in the Hubli-Dharwad city-region, January 1999. (Project no. R7099).

In addition to the findings reported in the above, this report notes:

-there is a trade-off between the quality of the compost and the cost; good quality compost is out of reach of small and marginal farmers; they wish to purchase waste and sort it themselves or with hired workers;

-waste pickers seem to prefer to work independently rather than being employed, for instance, in source separation work;

-progress has been made in getting a better picture of the flows of waste from the city and farmers preferences for different types of soil amendments.

The next phase of the project aims to build on this and to respond to the constraints that have been identified.

Coad, Adrian (ed.) (1997). Lessons from India in Solid Waste Management
Loughborough: Water, Engineering and Development Centre.

Comments on the book made by Dr. Isa Baud
D. Satterthwaite

"Sustainable Prospects in Urban Agriculture"
by Scott G. Chaplowe 1997
Chapter 4, pgs. 70-100 in
For ALL Generations: Making World Agriculture More Sustainable
Edited by J. Patrick Madden and Scott G. Chaplowe
650 pages, 60 organization profiles
Order From: WSAA Publications
8554 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069 USA
Phone: 310-657-7202

Wilson, Howard and Philip Harris. (1996). Report on Havana Urban Agriculture Organic Production. Partner institution Ministry of Agriculture, Havana. Lincoln: School of Agriculture and Horticulture, De Montfort University and Henry Doubleday Research Association. Project of British Partnership Scheme.

Allison, Malcolm and Phil Harris. (1996). Urban Waste Bibliography. Prepared for peri-urban interface production system, Natural Resources Programme, Overseas Development Administration, Britain. Henry Doubleday Research Association, African Studies Centre Coventry Univ., and Dept. of Water Management Silsoe College Cranford Univ.

Allison, Malcolm and Phil Harris. (1996). A Review of the Use of Urban Waste in Peri-urban Interface Production Systems. Prepared for peri-urban interface production system, Natural Resources Programme, Overseas Development Administration, Britain. Henry Doubleday Research Association, African Studies Centre Coventry Univ., and Dept. of Water Management Silsoe College Cranford Univ.

Furedy, Christine and Tasneem Chowdhury. (1996). "Solid waste reuse and urban agriculture: dilemmas in developing countries: the bad news and the good news." Joint congress of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and Association of European Schools of Planning, Toronto, July.

Furedy, Christine, Virginia Maclaren and Joe Whitney. (1997). "Food from waste: urban pressures and opportunities for food production in Asian cities." International conference on sustainable urban food systems, Toronto, May 22-25.

Search Our Site

pointer Return to Contents' Page pointer

Revised March 1, 2005

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture