Considering sustainable urban agriculture as spatial planning instrument: a South African framework
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The steady growth of the global urban population exerts pressure on food systems within the urban environments of developed and developing countries alike. Globally, cities experience food shortages, price hikes and unsustainable practices, suggesting a gap within urban food systems for more diversified methods of producing and obtaining food. Urban Agriculture (UA) is presented as a viable means towards more sustainable and resilient urban environments, with the aim of addressing the aforementioned shortfall through policy expansion. A comprehensive literature study introduces, reviews and presents the correlation between UA and broader sustainability objectives. Through employing theory-based sampling as part of a qualitative enquiry into sustainable UA practices, a list of criteria was developed to guide the planning of UA in urban environments. These criteria were further used for the qualitative analysis of two international case studies, namely Brooklyn Grange Urban Farm (New York) and Homeless Garden Project (Santa Cruz); and two national case studies, namely the Fish Farm (Cape Town) and Harvest of Hope (Cape Town). The case study analysis allowed the compilation of a list of common, underlying qualities of successful UA practices. That will be applied in an attempt to refine the suggested UA criteria and develop a framework to include UA as part of spatial planning approaches. Given the results of both the literature study and empirical investigation, recommendations were made for the planning and implementation of the UA within South African urban spaces, supported by adequate spatial planning policies and programmes concerned with sustainable urban development. Ultimately this research proposed a framework for the South African situation to enhance sustainable urban agriculture as spatial planning instrument.