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University of Amsterdam (2015)

Urban agriculture : seed of transition ? : research on the relocalization of food production : the development of urban agriculture in Amman

Otten Kim

Titre : Urban agriculture : seed of transition ? : research on the relocalization of food production : the development of urban agriculture in Amman

Auteur : Otten Kim

Université de soutenance : University of Amsterdam

Grade : Master Political Science 2015

Résumé
The world is facing rapid processes of urbanization, increasing poverty in urban areas and accompanying food insecurity. The main literature shows that urban agriculture has developed in developing countries as a strategy for people to increase their food security. This thesis analyses the development of urban agriculture through the lens of transition theory and the multilevel perspective. In order to understand the mechanisms that are leading towards sustainable transition, a case study of the development of urban agriculture in Amman is made. The recent civil wars in Syria and Iraq have had a big impact on Jordan’s food supply since Jordan depends heavily on food import. Amman has faced a rapid process of urbanization during the last decades, and prognoses show that its citizens will triple in the coming decade. This exemplifies the urgency of the question how the city deals with its food supply. Amman has been cited in the literature as one of the success stories when it comes to the institutionalization of urban agriculture. Nevertheless food security has not been the driving narrative of this development. The findings of this research show that the dominant narrative in Amman on urban agriculture has most similarities with the narrative that is found in industrialized nations ; i.e. health, reconnection with nature and the enjoyment of the activity of farming. The main conclusion of this thesis argues that in contrast to the multi-­‐level perspective on transitions, which holds the idea that sustainable transitions are driven by bottom-­‐up initiatives, in the case of Amman the process developed through a top-­‐down institutionalization of urban agriculture. However, no broad societal transition has happened, yet.

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