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New study group will conduct research on urban agriculture in São Paulo

by Richard Meckien - published May 19, 2016 04:50 PM - - last modified May 24, 2016 02:02 PM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Sylvia Miguel.

Horta da Faculdade de Medicina da USP

Community garden: the project has managed to involve students, staff and professors of the FM.

The Study Group on Urban Agriculture (GEAU) will hold debates and conduct studies on the theme "Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in São Paulo: Possibilities, Connections and Contemporaneity". Approved by the IEA's Board on May 9, it will be coordinated by Professor Thais Mauad, from the USP's School of Medicine (FM), an expert in urban health and founder of the community garden at the FM.

The GEAU will be hosted at the IEA for two years, producing scientific studies on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) with emphasis on the city of São Paulo and its metropolitan region (RMSP).

Among the activities that have already been planned is a seminar with the participation of professors and researchers from the University of Melbourne to be held in August. The debate will address the research topic of Professor Mauad: "Achieving sustainable food production and irrigation in São Paulo and Melbourne," which seeks to understand, improve and promote the resilience of urban food production systems in these two cities.

The schedule for 2017 includes the presentation of the studies' results, as well as the publication of articles and the participation of group members in conferences and seminars.

Horta do IEE

The garden of the IEE is the result of the project Criando Terra no IEE ("Creating Earth at the IEE"), an example of urban gardening in an academic environment.

The GEAU has six members and two collaborating researchers from different areas. Given its interdisciplinary approach, the group brings together experts from the FM, the USP's Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences (FFLCH), the Graduation Program in Environmental Sciences (PROCAM) of the USP's Institute for Energy and Environment (IEE), the Getúlio Vargas Foundation and the Université Rennes 2.

The research team was the winner in the academic category of the 5th Fecomércio Sustainability Award in 2015, with the project "Urban Agriculture: Production, Retail and Food Consumption." For the members of the GEAU, the award is "a great step forward in spreading the importance of urban agriculture in Brazil and São Paulo."

The studies should contribute to the debate about the nature of actors, social relations, socio-spatial dynamics and impacts generated by the UPA. The understanding of the new socio-spatial configurations generated by this branch are important to foster the academic debate on the contemporary urban world, according to the project's proponents.

In addition to establishing partnerships and disseminating the concept of urban agriculture, the studies aim at contributing with theoretical and methodological frameworks to explain urban phenomena, especially regarding the situation of the city of São Paulo and Latin America.

Horta Berlim - 1

The Berlin-Tempelhof airport was disabled in 2008 and turned into an horticulture and leisure space after the claiming of civil movements.


Study Group on Urban Agriculture (GEAU)

Coordination: Thais Mauad (FM-USP)

Vice-coordination: Valéria de Marcos (FFLCH-USP)

Permanent members:

Angélica Campos Nakamura, Giulia Giacchè, Guilherme Reis Ranieri, Gustavo Nagib, Luís Fernando Amato Lourenço and Lya Cynthia Porto de Oliveira.

Collaborating researchers:

Mário Aquino Alves and Amalia Inés Geraiges de Lemos.




Photos: / Cecília Bastos and Marcos Santos (JornalUSP)/ Sylvia Miguel (personal archive)