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"How do we measure justice?": missions and metrics in urban agriculture.

Authors
  • Shostak, Sara1
  • 1 Department of Sociology, MS 071 Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453 USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Agriculture and human values
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
Volume
39
Issue
3
Pages
953–964
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10460-022-10296-4
PMID: 35106025
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

This paper offers a critical analysis of program evaluation in contemporary urban agriculture. Drawing on data from an exploratory study designed at the request of and in collaboration with urban agriculture practitioners in Massachusetts, it describes both their critiques of extant practices of program evaluation and their visions for alternative ways of telling the story of their work. Related, it explores practitioners' interest in building capacity for policy advocacy, working collectively to create transformative social change, and, related, establishing new kinds of relationships with state and philanthropic funders. Building on scholarship that has observed that urban agriculture is characterized by an internal contradiction-i.e., its simultaneous orientation to "neoliberal" (social service) and "radical" (social justice) agendas (McClintock in Local Environ 19:147-171, 2014)-this analysis calls attention, especially, to the complex role of metrics, which may not only entrench neoliberalism in UA organizations, but also provide a mechanism for challenging its assumptions and advancing the radical project of food justice. © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2022.

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