URBAN AGRICULTURE TYPOLOGIES, SOCIO- ECOLOGICAL CAPITAL CREATION, AND THE EVOLUTION OF A RESILIENT, LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM IN ATLANTA, GA
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As urban agriculture evolves in North America it is fostering social and ecological benefits, not just in isolation but as a more comprehensive system where physical, social, and ecological aspects intertwine and scale into an urban food mosaic or a new type of green city. How is this change occurring and what are key characteristics? Building on traditional urban planning and design methods of keen observation, listening, mapping, and visualization and updating these methods with current techniques such as photo voice and map voice, this inquiry unpacks the rapidly evolving context of urban agriculture with in the metro area of Atlanta, GA. The dissertation breaks the inquiry into three parts or ‘essays’ each with its own sub-question and research literature on which it builds. Essay one asks how urban agriculture is integrated socio-ecologically on site and across city scales, looking for variation as it interacts with fifteen Atlanta urban entities representing forty sites. Essay two then asks how this variation can be typed, and essay three adds a quantitative piece to the ensemble by taking the fifth and last theme of essay two, the eco-literacy value of urban agriculture, and creating a tool to measure its distribution in Atlanta. Although the primary disciplinary focus is urban and landscape design, since the inquiry also sits within a college of planning and design, the concluding essay reflects on the dissertation and its methods and how they correspond to urban planning theory.