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Politecnico di Milano (2012)

Addressing farming as a matter of urbanism. In Dakar, Senegal


Titre : Addressing farming as a matter of urbanism. In Dakar, Senegal


Université de soutenance : Politecnico di Milano

Grade : Dottorato 2012

The aim of the design research is to address farming as a matter of urbanism. The research focuses in particular on urban farming in developing countries and formulates questions and hypotheses through a case study, with intensive fieldwork, in Dakar (Senegal). Vis-à-vis enthusiastic appraisals which surround the contemporary practice of urban farming worldwide, a step back is taken in order to reorganize a framework for reflection. By establishing the problem definition and formulation as the most relevant under-explored piece of the puzzle, the dissertation proposes a shift from a food security bias to a territorial bias and questions the capability of urban farming (alone) to structure and produce alternatives to the infertility of postcolonial urbanism. The dissertation structure is tripartite : the approach to urban farming put in place by nongovernmental agencies and the establishment of global agendas aimed at eradicating hunger from the urban areas of the Global South stands at the core of PART I, whereas PART II is centered upon the existing productive urban landscapes which spontaneously result from the hybrid (urban/rural) character of the African city. The sharp contrast between endogenous and exogenous modes of urban farming production is overcome in PART III, in which the project of urban farming is revisited by means of cross-scalar design research insights which attempt to address the main shortcoming of research on the topic, namely the inadequacy of ad-hoc approaches to produce effective change.


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