Urban agriculture in shrinking American cities
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Historically, community gardens have served to provide food during wartime or periods of economic depression. Today, in addition to fresh and healthy produce, community gardens provide many other economical, social and environmental benefits. Many industrial cities have suffered severe damage to their economic base and lost at least 20 percent of their residents since half a century ago. Shrinking cities have become an issue that challenges the conventional planning orthodoxies assuming a constant-growth reality that no longer existed. There is a general understanding of how urban agriculture can benefit participants, neighborhoods, and communities. However, there are not many studies that particularly focus on urban agriculture and its association with stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods in shrinking cities. The purpose of this article is to understand the motivations and justifications of establishing urban agriculture in shrinking cities and how urban agriculture is perceived as economic and social tools for revitalizing the neighborhoods and reshaping the cityscapes through comparative case studies of Detroit and Cleveland.