The connection participants developed with each other and with natural elements fostered technical and social learning.
By Pierre Paul Audate, Geneviève Cloutier, Alexandre Lebel
6 May 2022
While environmental and health preoccupations are growing, urban agriculture (UA) is becoming a key element in the future planning decisions of many cities worldwide. Beyond its well-documented environmental and socio-economic benefits, this phenomenon is being individually and/or collectively experimented with as a means of transforming urban space into place (place-making) in both high-and low-income countries. Research wise, UA can lead to the questioning of official planning visions and principles. As such, this empirically grounded study aims to question the characteristics of UA in deprived neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince (Haiti) as fields for observing space-to-place transformations.
It analyzes how UA programs create meaningful experiences for their participants. The findings are discussed in relation to place-making principles and suggest that UA goes beyond a simplistic approach of responding to material needs. In other words, UA is valued as a means of transforming spaces. Although UA programs are at risk of being co-opted, they trigger transformations by fostering a sense of place, community belonging, and re-imaging of the studied neighborhoods. The findings are useful for urban planners interested in utilizing local creativity to reshape deprived neighborhoods. On a wider level, further research should report on the long-term dynamics of the transformed spaces to evaluate their sustainability and forms of governance.
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