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Public space & food security
- Public spaces allow for opportunities to ensure food security. Through the development of public food markets in open public spaces, cities are able to provide green spaces with connections to the natural environment and foster urban-rural linkages but also ensure that there is a possibility of creating food security opportunities for the citizens. With the increase in food prices, more communities are turning to local food suppliers and systems to ensure locally sourced food that is nutritional. Public spaces can allow for the development of community food gardens especially in neighbourhoods and around community facilities.
- EXAMPLE: The Brazil’s national school feeding programme.
The national school feeding programme initiated in 1955 in Brazil part of the “Zero hunger strategy” adopted by the Ministry of Development. In 2009, the government passed a law requiring cities to spend at least 30% of their school meal budget on produce from family farmers. This programme fosters interaction between small local farmers and public schools. It is a way to boost local agriculture while providing food and nutrition security to students from low-income neighbourhoods. This example illustrates a strong synergy and coordination between the national government and local authorities.
-URBAN AGRICULTURE AS AN INTEGRAL ELEMENT OF PUBLIC SPACES, THE EXAMPLE OF ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR.
Antananarivo is a city of water and hills where space is available for urban agriculture. Capital city of Madagascar, the city has 2 million inhabitants with a majority of low-income families.
From 2003-2007, a research called « analysis on the sustainability of urban agriculture in Antananarivo-Aduraa » was undergone. The study helped to understand farming and urban agriculture in the area with over 250 interviews undertaken. The functions of urban agriculture are multiple: economic, as it creates jobs in farming, transportation and collection of local produce; environmental, as rice fields are water storage to prevent floods; and cultural as rice farming is part of the Malagasy heritage reflected in the language, music, songs and the folk. For these reasons, the city has a Master Plan and a ‘Green Plan’ in which the protection of agricultural land and the creation of reserves in the hills are essential. Over 40% of the 425 km2 of Antananarivo is agricultural. It is therefore important to preserve it as public space in regards to the natural, economic, cultural and social positive aspects of urban agriculture and rice farming activities.