Undergraduate and graduate student presentations from the Department of Philosophy, 2021 Online University Research Symposium, Illinois State University
Climate change, urbanization, and food insecurity are three interconnected phenomena shaping the world. Such multi-faceted issues require a similarly comprehensive solution. Urban gardening is an emerging practice that fosters both environmental sustainability and social equity. To understand why it is an effective solution, urban gardening must be connected to the issues at hand. First, while the city has long been posited as separate from nature, it can be alternately described as an inherently natural place, and must be demonstrated as such for the purposes of this paper. From here, by analyzing historical examples, poverty in the inner-city can be connected to nature-based oppression, particularly in regard to food insecurity. Finally, urban gardening is proposed as a dynamic action that addresses these issues simultaneously, doing so in the following ways: It accentuates the natural qualities of cities; It acknowledges the presence of oppressive structures that are tied to the environment; and it empowers disenfranchised peoples to rise above these structures by reuniting them with the natural world.