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Urban agriculture : established and emerging projects in Hull and Copenhagen

Wright, Lucy Rose


Lucy Rose Wright


Sally Eden


Communities and organisations are increasingly appropriating urban land for food production. Claims are made that urban agriculture (UA) projects "are reclaiming food production and consumption from the market” (McClintock 2014: 19), can address food insecurity issues (Badami & Ramankutty 2015, Irvine et al 2007) and contribute towards urban sustainability transitions (Colassanti et al 2016, Aerts et al 2016). However, little is known about how or why these projects emerge. Nor how different initiators experience the process of emergence and behave once the project becomes established.

To explore emergence from an outsider perspective, and to address calls for more European studies (Guitart et al 2012), UA projects and practices were identified and ‘mapped’ in Hull, UK and Copenhagen, Denmark. Interviews were conducted with forty-six project organisers representing different UA types. These included community gardens, guerrilla gardens, allotments, urban orchards and urban farms. To reflect who initiates UA a typology of project initiators was developed and used during the rest of the research; categories included governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, networks and independent groups.

The research identified how project practices and initiator behaviours shaped how the process of project emergence was experienced. During emergence, organisers become experts within their communities and as a result their commitment to project ‘action’ and feelings of duty deepen. How organisers pursue project participation and economic security changes the purpose of the project. Multiple direction changes mean a project’s aims no longer reflect the initial motivation of an organiser. The time period of emergence and complex expressions of ownership contribute to how the pursuit for funding and participation is experienced. The consequence is that UA projects remain in constant flux. Those projects that can persist and preserve a place in the foodscape (Johnston and Baumann 2010, Sonnino 2010) create opportunities in navigating flux.


Wright, L. R. (2019). Urban agriculture : established and emerging projects in Hull and Copenhagen. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Geography
Public URL
Additional Information School of Environmental Sciences, The University of Hull


Thesis (154.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2019 Wright, Lucy Rose. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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