Enabling urban social farming : the need for radical green infrastructure in the city

Mitchell, L ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8611-0806, Houston, L, Hardman, M ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4282-0766, Howarth, M and Cook, PA ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6435-8050 2021, 'Enabling urban social farming : the need for radical green infrastructure in the city' , Cogent Social Sciences, 7 (1) , p. 1976481.

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Abstract

With the global population set to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, there are concerns that health services are beginning to be stretched beyond working limits, particularly in the Global North, where many nations face ageing populations and similar obstacles. One suggested radical method to tackle these issues would be to provide access to Green Infrastructure (GI) interventions, including the development of social farms, particularly within urban areas and across deprived communities; enabling conventional health services to be supplemented by nature-based therapy. Social farms incapsulate this ideology, by enabling spaces for farming practices to also be used for therapeutic outcomes: providing care, rehabilitation, and even educational programmes. The focus here is around the concept of social prescribing, with activities within social farms, amongst other spaces such as community gardens and urban farms, acting as non-medical approaches to aid people with mental health or related conditions. Currently, research across social farming and social prescribing is relatively novel and therefore tends to be based in Scandinavian countries or the USA, in which these spaces are more readily available. This paper focuses on the concept of social farming, which has received increased attention in the UK context, particularly within the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recent 25-year Environment Plan. The paper argues that there is a need for development of this practice within urban settings, with findings showing an agglomeration of sites in the rural context. In addition, we discuss tools for development and barriers, to illustrate opportunities for the future.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Cogent Social Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2331-1886
Funders: University Alliance
Depositing User: M Hardman
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2021 07:34
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 10:45
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/61876

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