Urban farming

Researchers from Södertörn University blogs about urban farming and digital practices.

Urban farming in the digital age…

This project is funded by the The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, thanks!

We think that urban farming makes a suitable case for investigating how values and ideas are shared, communicated and reproduced through digital platforms, since the political values are being practically acted out through changing the urban environment. By using values and norms as unit of analysis in relation to local context, we will be able to provide more nuanced and contrasting knowledge about how digital design is applied in sustainable lifestyles within the Baltic Sea rim.

One assumption in the project is that there are significant local differences in meaning-making between the cities we will include in our studies, the role of growing food is very different depending on history of self-sufficiency, availability of food and what kinds of practices surrounding food that is considered privileged.

The project will apply an ethnographic approach for studying use and interaction design that stimulate the interests of people in participating in urban farming communities. We will also further develop our reflections and analytic tools from our earlier research, adapting them to the context of urban farming and social movements online. We will shed light on and describe the practices of urban farmers in relation to digital media and also gather more knowledge about the digital functionalities that can support the development of grassroots movements and sustainable food communities online in relation to the Baltic Sea rim.

Svensk projektsammanfattning

I detta tvärvetenskapliga projekt deltar forskare från medieteknik och kulturgeografi. Vi vill undersöka hur aktivism stimuleras av digitala medier. Stadsodling utgör ett bra exempel för att studera hur värderingar och idéer delas, kommuniceras och reproduceras via digitala plattformar eftersom värderingarna också leder till praktiska konsekvenser genom konkret påverkan på den urbana miljön. Ett antagande i projektet är att det finns signifikanta skillnader i meningsskapande mellan de geografiska områden runt Östersjön som ska undersökas, eftersom innebörden i att odla själv påverkas av den lokala historiken kring behovet av självförsörjning, tillgång på mat samt de praktiker kring mat som anses priviligierade. Projektet kommer att belysa och beskriva stadsodlares relation till digitala medier och även samla mer kunskap om de digitala funktioner som stödjer utvecklingen av gräsrotsrörelser och hållbarhetsgrupper med fokus på odlad mat.