Imaginative Forms Built through Citizen Engagement: Transforming Food Systems through an Ethics of Care

By Deborah Schrader and Lorelei L. Hanson.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 23, 2015 $US5.00

In this paper we explore the potential of citizen imaginings associated with municipal food policy development to be utilized as building blocks towards the transformation to a more sustainable food system. We explore this potential through a case study of the development of “fresh, Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agricultural Strategy.” We start from a position advanced by Wendy Mendes (2008, 945) that in making and remaking the city, governmental institutions need to demonstrate greater flexibility and openness in their governance arrangements and institutional capacity, as well as “in how the city’s imaginative form is reshaped and mobilized.” We employ an ethics of care as an analytical frame in reading through in-depth interviews with citizens involved in the development of “fresh,” focusing on their descriptions of sustainability and how to build a sustainable food system in Edmonton. Drawing attention to the ethics of care embedded in these imaginative constructions, we discuss how they can act as entry points into a social and economic transformation process.

Keywords: Sustainable Food Systems, Ethics of Care, Urban Agriculture, Urban Food Strategy

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Volume 9, Issue 3-4, July 2015, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 356.907KB)).

Deborah Schrader

Doctoral Candidate, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Dr. Lorelei L. Hanson

Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada