Farmers’ Markets in the Green Entrepreneurial City: From Urban Redevelopment Planning to Lifestyle Activism presents contemporary farmers’ markets as complex and contradictory sites. They simultaneously reinforce and subtly transform neoliberal ideals, policies, and practices that underpin social inequality. The growth in popularity and number of farmers’ markets in recent decades can be linked to the increase in green and ethical discourses and spaces being incorporated into entrepreneurial governance strategies and redevelopment plans through which urban powers seek to enhance their city’s attractiveness to middle- and upper-class consumers. The resulting engagement with farmers’ market discourses and spaces reinforces the idea among civic subjects that responsibility for social and environmental problems lies with individuals and that solutions for problems that originate at other scales can be achieved through individual-scale choices and actions. At the same time, farmers’ markets provide opportunities for people to make connections with others, with their community, and with the environment in ways that have the capacity to produce a more collective consciousness that complicates neoliberal notions of competition, marketization, and individualism.
The Politics of the Urban Sustainability Concept explores the widely proclaimed urban sustainability vision that has swept across urban landscapes of the global west like a tidal wave. This planning vision, mixing with notions of “smart growth”, “regional planning”, and “sustainable cities”, now dots urban environments in cities big, medium, and small. This book critically interrogates this vision and practices for the concrete material realities it produces for all urban citizens. This book is inspired by recent calls for a “just sustainability”. Here, urban sustainability is considered through the lenses of things scantily considered: human rights, equality in access to resources and facilities, and the production of economic opportunities and decent qualities of life for all. This book reveals a city growth and redevelopment vision that can be deeply problematic in who it serves and how it reconfigures urban environments. Often, favoring of the affluent in orientation, this problematic vision too often relies on a failed expectation that benefits will trickle down to all. It legitimizes the building of flagrantly segregated, profoundly splintered cities as a now powerful neoliberal tool in current political and economic realities. Cloaked in a mix of ambiguity and class-based specificity the urban sustainability vision threatens to magnify already vexing inequalities in many cities across the globe.