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The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities Paperback – Oct 1 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers; 1st edition (Oct. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780865716834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865716834
  • ASIN: 0865716838
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #155,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Our reliance on industrial agriculture has resulted in a food supply riddled with hidden environmental, economic and health care costs and beset by rising food prices. With only a handful of corporations responsible for the lion's share of the food on our supermarket shelves, we are incredibly vulnerable to supply chain disruption.

The Urban Food Revolution provides a recipe for community food security based on leading innovations across North America. The author draws on his political and business experience to show that we have all the necessary ingredients to ensure that local, fresh sustainable food is affordable and widely available. He describes how cities are bringing food production home by:

  • Growing community through neighborhood gardening, cooking and composting programs
  • Rebuilding local food processing, storage and distribution systems
  • Investing in farmers markets and community supported agriculture
  • Reducing obesity through local fresh food initiatives in schools, colleges and universities.
  • Ending inner-city food deserts

Producing food locally makes people healthier, alleviates poverty, creates jobs, and makes cities safer and more beautiful. The Urban Food Revolution is an essential resource for anyone who has lost confidence in the global industrial food system and wants practical advice on how to join the local food revolution.

About the Author

Peter Ladner has served two terms as a Vancouver City Councilor. With more than 35 years of journalistic experience, he is a frequent speaker on community issues and has a special interest in the intersection of food policy and city planning.

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By Arran on May 30 2012
Format: Paperback
Peter Ladner's book is a valuable tool for anyone interested in sustainable gardening, answering FAQ and providing excellent facts and research. This book should appeal to the new breed of urban city gardener, how important gardening is for personal health, enjoyment and transformation, as well as the greening of our cities. I believe it was Emerson who said, "I know of no ill my garden spade cannot heal." From one gardener to another. 'A
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Amazing and insightful in so many ways March 2 2012
By Laura Lee - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am not usually one to review books, it seems way too subjective to base whether you would buy a book on someone else s opinion but BUY THIS BOOK! I thought I was pretty well rounded in urban agriculture and this book was like a PhD in urban food systems. I cannot recommend it highly enough, from reexamining food deserts, cultural identities with food and agriculture, to urban incentives and governmental and nonprofit organizations. Mr. Ladner wrote clearly and concisely and above all- the man did his homework.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring Book May 28 2012
By Nancy Bradshaw - Published on
Format: Paperback
What I love about this book is that it is full of postiive ideas about what is working in different places. Although I am not a city planner or muncipal person, I particularly found the ideas for schools and our communities useful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Extensive Research, Revolutionary Goals March 27 2015
By Michael Chmielewski - Published on
Format: Paperback
In a world increasingly fed by use of industrialized agriculture following the “Green Revolution” of the post WWII era, individuals are beginning to speak out regarding issues brought about by food insecurity and unsustainability—especially in urban locations. Peter Ladner of Vancouver, British Columbia, is such an individual, and finds a voice in The Urban Food Revolution—Changing the Way We Feed Cities. With over 35 years of journalistic experience and two terms as Vancouver’s City Councillor, Ladner has seen first-hand the tension between industrialized agriculture, sustainable agronomy, and food-insecure families within the context of urban environments. Thus, Ladner seeks to utilize his extensive research regarding the urban agricultural movement in North America and the UK as motivation for the urbanite, policymaker, and farmer alike to unite and support a common cause: changing the way we feed cities.
In compiling and synthesizing an argument for the urban food revolution, it is highly evident that Ladner has “done his homework.” Each chapter is bursting at the seams with references to various sources, many of which were personally interviewed. Various website addresses, intriguing facts and anecdotes, photographs, and “do it yourself” inserts are scattered throughout the work, which collaboratively provide support to the framework Ladner builds as a case for agricultural revolution in urban environments. A particular “how to” insert of interest is found in the chapter entitled “Growing Community with Community Gardens,” where a two page, 10-step list regarding implementation of a community garden is provided. Furthermore, the structural layout and organization of each chapter is instrumental to the work’s success and easy-to-read feel: Ladner generally introduces an issue, provides ideas for a solution, and spends the remainder of the chapter’s space providing examples of what is working in specific locations—and what isn’t.
Despite the many strengths of The Urban Food Revolution, there exist some minor shortcomings. The main weakness of the work can be summed in the relative dearth of scientific research used to support Ladner’s claims. Although hundreds of references are consulted throughout the book, Ladner rarely appeals to scientific literature, especially when his claims need it the most. For instance, his introductory chapter entitled “What’s the Matter with Food?” contains many facts and figures regarding the current state of industrialized agriculture, but few references to scientific papers. Ultimately, this transpires throughout the remainder of the book, leading to an overemphasis on local organic diets deemed “sustainable,” and an underemphasized view regarding industrialized agriculture, when in reality both agricultural systems must contribute together to overall global yield increase in order to feed a substantially growing human population.
Ladner opens his advocacy for the urban food revolution with a general but contextualized overview of the current (grim) state of agriculture in North America. He discusses the development of local-based diets as a retaliation to rampant food insecurity in modern North American cities, citing the urban agricultural movement as a valiant effort to produce locally grown crops and take the edge off hunger, crime, and obesity in our ever-growing cities. Ladner focuses much of his work on the economic and policy-related aspects of the urban food revolution, synthesizing information regarding various economic benefits, policy developments, and individual entrepreneurial undertakings in the realm of increasing the self-sufficiency of cities. Readers are encouraged and empowered to take a stand against obesity, the debilitated food transport and delivery infrastructure, and unsustainable practices of current agriculture by eating local, investing in community supported agriculture (CSA) movements, and becoming more aware of modern developments in feeding cities and their citizens.
Although Ladner’s claims regarding the urban food revolution can at times be overemphasized organic and “locavore” propaganda, these assertions can be taken with a grain of salt without detracting from the overall beauty of his work. Ladner effectively synthesizes information from a variety of sources and a wealth of different aspects of the urban agriculture movement into an easy-to-read, engaging book that is destined to spark excitement and renewal in the way we feed cities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
very very good!!! Dec 19 2012
By fabricio chicca - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is a very good book. However, it needs a bit more references and I am not entirely convinced about some information there, but still a very good one. I recommend it
Local Food for All April 22 2015
By Robena D. Robinett - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another great resource on growing and sharing the produce from one's garden. I was aware many 'grassroots groups' were growing flowers and veggies, but this was eye opening. We CAN solve a lot of hunger issues. Now to convince school boards and local governments to support local gardens. I underlined a lot of facts in this book!