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Sources – Rural-urban linkages

Urban Agriculture: Findings from four city case studies

The World Bank, July 2013, Urban Development Series, No.18, Urban Development & Resilience Unit, The World Bank, Washington, DC.

Urban agriculture offers multiple benefits to cities and their residents. From an economic angle, urban agriculture provides employment opportunities, supplements household income, and generates monetary savings. It particularly enables the urban poor to better withstand rises in food and fuel prices. From a social point of view, urban agriculture can provide a sense of community, improve the lives of women and youth, and promote rural-urban linkages. The production and consumption of food enables improved nutrition for children. Urban agriculture contributes to the environment by providing ways to reuse wastewater and organic solid waste, reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides, and make cities more resilient to climate change.

The Urban Development and Resilience Unit of the World Bank is pleased to present this report showcasing four cities where urban agriculture is present. It provides an in-depth view of the impacts of urban agriculture on income and expenditure, food security and nutrition, and social impacts. It also provides an overview of the benefits of introducing and encouraging agricultural practices in urban areas to build cities that are green, inclusive, and sustainable.

Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities

Steffen Böhm, Zareen Pervez Bharucha, Jules Pretty (Eds), 2015, Routledge, 296 pages, Paperback: $59.95 ISBN: 978-0-415-81285-6

The world faces a ‘perfect storm’ of social and ecological stresses, including climate change, habitat loss, resource degradation and social, economic and cultural change. In order to cope with these, communities are struggling to transition to sustainable ways of living that improve well-being and increase resilience. This book demonstrates how communities in both developed and developing countries are already taking action to maintain or build resilient and sustainable lifestyles. These communities, here designated as ‘Ecocultures’, are exemplars of the art and science of sustainable living. Though they form a diverse group, they organise themselves around several common organising principles including an ethic of care for nature, a respect for community, high ecological knowledge, and a desire to maintain and improve personal and social wellbeing.

Case studies from both developed and developing countries including Australia, Brazil, Finland, Greenland, India, Indonesia, South Africa, UK and USA, show how, based on these principles, communities have been able to increase social, ecological and personal wellbeing and resilience. Overall, the volume describes how ecocultures can provide the global community with important lessons for a wider transition to sustainability and will show how we can redefine our personal and collective futures around these principles.

Sustainable Futures: Imperatives for managing the social agenda

Bhaskar Chatterji, 2012, Chennai, Notion Press, 383 p., ISBN: 978-93-82447-00-9.

The publication is well structured with short chapters to sustain interest. The publication presents lucidly and simply, the ‘concepts’ of CSR, their genesis, meaning and social relevance – backed by ‘practices’ illustrated through rich diversity of cases.

Importantly, the publication objectively highlights development perspectives with empathy and factual detail. It links these perspectives with relevant features of complex international treaties, agreements. It shows how governments, corporates and civil society organizations can synergize their efforts to build a whole new paradigm of development that is sustainable, humanistic and inclusive. With clarity of purpose, backed by research and ‘Further reading’ sections, can serve as a good resource for those trying to understand CSR and its relevance for a sustainable future.