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Feeding Cities

Questions to Consider While Reading

Historically, how have urban dwellers obtained their food?

What role has the state played in overseeing the provisioning of cities? Why have states thought this to be important?

What can urban geography and place names reveal about a city's past provisioning practices?

Please read TWO of the following:

Baics, Gergely, Feeding Gotham: The Political Economy and Geography of Food in New York, 1790-1860 (Princeton, 2016), Introduction.

Dameron, George, ‘Feeding the Medieval Italian City-State: Grain, War, and Political Legitimacy in Tuscany, c. 1150–c. 1350’, Speculum 92:4 (2017)

Galloway, James, and Margaret Murphy, 'Feeding the City: Medieval London and its Agrarian Hinterland', The London Journal 16:1 (1991).

Graham, Richard, Feeding the City: From Street Market to Liberal Reform in Salvador, Brazil, 1780-1860 (Austin, 2021), Introduction

Guyer, Jane, 'Markets and Urban Provisioning ', Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics, vol. 1: Context and Concepts, eds. Célestin Monga and Justin Yifu Lin (Oxford,2014).

Klassen, Sarah, Scott G. Ortman, José Lobo, and Damian Evans, ‘Provisioning an Early City: Spatial Equilibrium in the Agricultural Economy at Angkor, Cambodia’, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (online edition 2021).

Li, Lillian M., and Alison Dray-Novey, ‘Guarding Beijing's Food Security in the Qing Dynasty: State, Market, and Police’, Journal of Asian Studies 58:4 (1999).

Scolliers, Peter, and Patricia van den Eeckhout, 'Feeding Growing Cities in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries', The Handbook of Food Research, eds. Anne Murcott, Warren Belasco and Peter Johnson (London, 2013).

Steel, Carolyn, TED talk:

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Feeding Cities

Aron, Jean-Paul, ‘The Art of Using Leftovers: Paris, 1850-1900’, Food and Drink in History, eds Robert Forster and Orest Ranum (London, 1979).

Atkins, P.J., and D. Oddy, Food and the City in Europe since 1800, Ashgate (Aldershot, 2007)

Babb, Florence, Between Field and Cooking Pot: The Political Economy of Marketwomen in Peru (Austin, [1989] 1998).

Flynn, Karen Coen, “Farming the City”, in Food, Culture and Survival in an African City (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Guyer, Jane, ed., Feeding the African City: Studies in Regional Social History (Bloomington, 1987).

Hayombe, Patrick Odhiambo, Fredrick Omondi Owino, and Frankline Otiende Awuor, ‘Planning and governance of food systems in Kisumu City’, Urban Food Systems, Governance and Poverty in African Cities, eds Jane Battersby and Vanessa Watson (New York, 2019).

Luissier, Anne, ‘Eating Out during the Workday: Consumption and Working Habits among Urban Laborers in France in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century’, Eating Out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining and Snacks since the Late-Eighteenth Century, ed. Marc Jacobs and Peter Scholliers (New York, 2003)

Mediola García, Sandra C., Street Democracy: Vendors, Violence and Public Space in Late Twentieth-Century Mexico (Lincoln, 2017).

Miller, Monserrat, Feeding Barcelona, 1714-1975: Public Halls, Social Networks, and Consumer Culture (Baton Rouge, 2015), Introduction.

Scholliers, Peter, ‘Eating Out’, A Cultural History of Food in the Age of Empire, ed. Martin Bruegel (New York, 2016).

Steel, Carolyn, Hungry City: How Food Shapes our Lives (London, 2008).

Thoms, Ulrike, ‘Industrial Canteens in Germany, 1850-1950’, Eating Out in Europe: Picnics, Gourmet Dining and Snacks since the Late-Eighteenth Century, ed. Marc Jacobs and Peter Scholliers (New York, 2003).

Tinker, Irene, ed., Street Food: Urban Form and Employment in Developing Countries (New York, 1997).

Toriro, Percy, ‘Urban food production in Harare, Zimbabwe’, Urban Food Systems, Governance and Poverty in African Cities, eds Jane Battersby and Vanessa Watson (New York, 2019)

Webb, Sidney and Beatrice, ‘The Assize of Bread’, The Economic Journal 14:54 (1904).

Will, Pierre-Etienne , and R. Bin Wong, Nourish the People: The State Civilian Granary System in China, 1650-1850 (Ann Arbor, 1991).

Wrigley, E.A., ‘Urban Growth in Early Modern England: Food, Fuel and Transport’, Past & Present 225 (2014), 79-112.*


Urban Gardens

Bassett, Thomas, ‘Reaping the Margins: A Century of Community Gardening in America’, Landscape Journal 25:2 (1981), 1-8.*
Bottoms, Stephen, Small Acts of Repair: Performance, Ecology and Goat Island (London, 2007).
Cockrall-King, Jennifer, Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution (New York, 2012).

Glotfelty, Cheryll, and Harold Fromm, eds., The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (Athens, 1996)
Guthman, Julie, Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California (Berkeley, 2004).
Hamm, M.W. and A.C. Bellows, ‘Community Food Security and Nutrition Education’, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 35:1 (2003), 37-43.*
Hanson, David and Edwin Marty, Breaking Through the Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival (Berkeley, 2011).

Harvey, David, Spaces of Hope (Berkeley, 2000).
Henderson, Bethany Rubin and Kimberly Hartsfield, ‘Is Getting into the Community Garden Business a Good Way to Engage Citizens in Local Government?’ National Civic Review 98:4 (2009), 12-17.*
Hou, Jeffrey, Julie M. Johnson, Laura J. Lawson, Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens (Seattle, 2009).
Linn, Karl, ‘Reclaiming the Sacred Commons’, New Village 1:1 (1999), 42-9.Lippard, Lucy R., The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society (New York, 1997).
Martinez, Miranda J., Power at the Roots: Gentrification, Community Gardens, and the Puerto Ricans of the Lower East Side (New York, 2010).

Schmelzkopf, Karen, ‘Urban Community Gardens as Contested Spaces,’ Geographic Review 85:3 (1995), 364-80.


Can Masdeu, Barcelona, Spain:
CAPI Community Garden Project, Minneapolis, MN, USA: and
Edible Park, Den Haag, Netherlands:
Growing Power, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, USA:
Lake Highlands Community Garden, Dallas, TX, USA:
Martineau Gardens, Birmingham, UK:
Urban Leaves, Mumbai, India:
WOT2Grow, Tysoe, UK: