AGROECOLOGICAL URBANIZATION: THE TERRITORIAL UTOPIA OF THE FOOD SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT

Martín Arboleda

Recent decades have witnessed the emergence of a globalizing peasant movement that aims at the radical transformation of the food system under the banners of a post-capitalist science of food production (i.e. agroecology), and of popular self-determination via the notion of food sovereignty. Although the program and ambitions of this new agrarian internationalism are of world-historical significance, the territorial expansion or ‘scaling out’ of agroecological farming systems has remained limited due to substandard mechanisms of distribution, to encroaching concentration in land ownership, as well as to material and ideological disconnection between agricultural producers and urban consumers –indicative of a wider gap between peasant movements and the urban laboring classes. By means of a multi-sited ethnographic study of the supply chains that connect the city of Santiago de Chile with its agro-food hinterlands or operational landscapes, this project seeks to assess the limits and possibilities that the so-called ‘logistics turn’ entails for a viable agroecological transition in food systems. In broad terms, it is expected that this project can shed light into the role that the field of urban studies might eventually play in global land reform debates, especially in the onset of burgeoning crises of climate change, systemic soil depletion, rural depopulation, and hunger and malnutrition.

Projected outcome: Journal articles and book publication.

La Vega Central, one of Santiago de Chile’s main popular markets and distribution centers (source: Dotmax).