This essay builds upon a case study of community gardening in Miami to explore the extent to which these gardens are contributing to, and possibly triggering, processes of gentrification within low to lower-middle income neighborhoods. Through a literature review of recent urban planning policy and development in Miami and relevant discourse on the neoliberalization of food, food politics, food justice activism, and gentrification, I situate Miami’s gardens within a complex, multi-scalar web of ideas and processes. I show how the interaction of these forces, varying dramatically with respect to place, is implicit in the motivations for each garden’s development and creates a unique context for the production of a “garden community.” I then critically examine the impacts these gardens – and the respective communities they produce – have within the larger community of the neighborhoods and places in which they are located. Secondly, with the intent to help bridge the disconnect between food justice and broader social movements, I engage the Environmental Justice Movement literature as a pathway toward exploring possibilities for mitigating gentrification and the physical displacement of vulnerable people. Thus, by learning from the key factors vital to the successes of the Environmental Justice Movement, food justice advocates can better conceptualize and build alternative food initiatives with, and not for, marginalized communities.
"The Garden is Always Greener...,"
Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum:
1, Article 8.
Available at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/catalyst/vol1/iss1/8