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Librello is an innovative open access academic publishing house based in Basel, Switzerland. Working on a membership basis, we decouple the payment from the publication and can afford a rigorous single-blind peer review process with no economic pressure. Authors are able to submit an unlimited number of manuscripts to all open access journals through an annual flat fee.

Latest publications

CiS
Cultivating the Glocal Garden
doi: 10.12924/cis2016.04010028 | Challenges in Sustainability | 2016 | Volume 4 | Issue 1
Matthijs Hisschemoller
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Publication Date: 18 July 2016
 
Abstract:

This paper addresses the question under which conditions small-scale urban agriculture (UA) initiatives can accelerate a sustainability transition of the global food system. It develops the notion of a glocal garden, a large number of likeminded local initiatives with a global impact and forms of worldwide collaboration. Taking a transition perspective, the glocal garden, producing vegetables and fruits, is a niche that has to overcome barriers to compete with the dominant food regime. Since a sustainability transition restructures (policy) sectors, institutional domains including knowledge systems, the paper explores which innovations are needed for the glocal garden to succeed. It discusses the glocal garden as an environmental, a social, an economic and a global project. As an environmental project, the glocal garden will link sustainable production of food with renewable energy production. As a social project, it will be organized into a consumers’ cooperative. As an economic project, it will strive for profit, increasing the yield in a sustainable manner. As a global project, it will enhance collaboration between local cooperatives in the North and the South, as well as with rural agriculture. Under these conditions, the glocal garden can develop into a power, able to resist a possible future food regime that splits societies, in terms of quality standards and food products, into haves and have-nots.


OF
Can the Adoption of Organic Farming Be Predicted by Biogeographic Factors? A French Case Study
doi: 10.12924/of2016.02010023 | Organic Farming | 2016 | Volume 2 | Issue 1
Marco Pautasso 1, * , Anja Vieweger 2 and A. Márcia Barbosa 3
1 Animal and Plant Health Unit, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
2 Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, Hamstead Marshall, Newbury, UK
3 Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO), InBIO Research Network in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Évora, Portugal
* Corresponding author
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Publication Date: 29 June 2016
 
Abstract:

Organic farming adoption is on the rise in many countries, due to the increased awareness of farmers, citizens, governments and other stakeholders of its more sustainable nature. Various studies have investigated the socio-economic drivers (e.g., consumer demand, support measures, agricultural policies) of organic farming adoption, but less attention has been paid to whether biogeographic factors could also be associated with variation in rates of organically managed farms in certain regions within countries. We investigate whether biogeographic factors are associated with variation in the proportion of land under organic farming in French departments. The proportion of land under organic farming increased with decreasing latitude and increasing department area. Non-significant factors were number of plant taxa, proportion of Natura 2000 protected areas, connectivity, longitude, altitude and department population. These results were robust to controlling for spatial autocorrelation. Larger and southern French departments tend to have a greater adoption of organic farming, possibly because of the more extensive nature of agriculture in such regions. Biogeographic factors have been relatively neglected in investigations of the drivers of organic farming adoption, but may have an important explanatory value.


CiS
Identifying the “Usual Suspects”—Assessing Patterns of Representation in Local Environmental Initiatives
doi: 10.12924/cis2016.04020001 | Challenges in Sustainability | 2016 | Volume 4 | Issue 2
Paul Fenton 1, * and Henner Busch 2, 3
1 Division of Environmental Technology & Management, Linko ̈ping University, Sweden
2 Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Sweden
3 Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimension of Sustainability, Sweden
* Corresponding author
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Publication Date: 21 June 2016
 
Abstract:

An increasing body of literature explores the role of transnational municipal networks (TMNs) in governing sustainable development. As associations, one key task of TMNs is to represent their members through production and dissemination of information and knowledge concerning municipal action for sustainable development. Case studies, often emphasising best practice, are used by many TMNs to fulfil this task. Nevertheless, despite strong scrutiny concerning the use of case studies in “policy mobilities” research, there have been limited attempts to quantify the ways in which TMNs present and disseminate case studies and, by doing so, generate trends of presence and absence in literature on sustainable development. Assessing patterns of representation for continents, countries, municipalities and themes across nine international case study collections published by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability since 1991, this study responds to this research gap and identifies the presence of “usual suspects” in the ICLEI case study collections, along with notable absentees. By doing so, the study contributes to policy mobilities research and literature on TMNs, by encouraging reflection and further research concerning the representation patterns influencing which municipalities and what topics are presented in discourses on sustainable development.


JoHS
On Unstable Ground: Issues Involved in Greening Space in the Rocinha Favela of Rio De Janeiro
doi: 10.12924/johs2016.12010052 | Journal of Human Security | 2016 | Volume 12 | Issue 1
Lea Rekow 1, 2
1 Arts, Education & Law Group, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
2 Green My Favela, 59 Franklin St, suite 303, New York, NY 20013, USA
Views 385
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Publication Date: 31 May 2016
 
Abstract:

This paper is based on fieldwork undertaken in conjunction with Green My Favela, a land use restoration project that works with informal and vulnerable income sector residents to reclaim chronically degraded public areas by creating gardens inside the urban favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The paper reveals how government intervention policies employed in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics are destabilizing the fragile social fabric of the city’s largest favela, Rocinha, through military occupation and urbanization activities that threaten an already low and unstable human security threshold.


OF
A Review of 'Organic Struggle: The Movement for Sustainable Agriculture in the United States'
doi: 10.12924/of2016.02010021 | Organic Farming | 2016 | Volume 2 | Issue 1
Charles Francis 1, 2
1 Department of Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA
2 Plant Sciences Department, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway
Views 620
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Publication Date: 31 May 2016
 
Abstract:

Organic Struggle chronicles the challenges encountered by innovators in a growing segment of the U.S. food pro- duction and marketing system. Practiced for millenia by farmers before the introduction of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and first developed more formally in Europe, organic farming practices began to gain prominence in the U.S. only in the 1950s. Far more than a system for pro- ducing food, this strategy has become a focus for those supporting healthy and pesticide-free products, for some who embrace the organic system as a food movement, and by many who disagree with the current domination of the country’s food industry by large farms and a small num- ber of multinational corporations. Within the organic sector there is debate between those who favor a system primar- ily run by local farmers who sell through small markets and CSAs, and others who insist that the ‘Big-Organic’ seg- ment that now sells more than half of all organic food is doing more to help the environment in the large picture. Author Brian Obach describes this ongoing struggle.


CiS
Action Research: An Essential Approach for Constructing the Development of Sustainable Urban Agricultural Systems
doi: 10.12924/cis2016.04010020 | Challenges in Sustainability | 2016 | Volume 4 | Issue 1
Antonia Djmela Bousbaine 1 and Christopher Robin Bryant 2, 3, *
1 Department of Geography, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
2 School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
3 Department of Geography, University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada.
* Corresponding author
Views 379
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Publication Date: 24 May 2016
 
Abstract:

How can research contribute more directly to promoting and leading to sustainable solutions and projects? This article suggests that one of the most important research approaches capable of achieving this is the Action Research approach. This involves the researcher taking on a number of roles when working with other actors (e.g. citizens, farmers, local elected officials, citizen associations, government representatives. . . with the specific set of actors depending upon the nature of the subject being investigated and for which solutions are sought). The roles that the researcher can play involve providing appropriate information to the other actors, providing counseling to them, organizing and animating meetings with the actors, and accompanying the whole process involving all the actors. These roles are essentially played out by the researcher when the other actors request the researcher to assume whichever roles they consider to be significant. The fundamental notion is that through this process the actors appropriate the sustainable solutions as their own, and the researcher helps them achieve this. This article is based on: a) a synthesis of pertinent research using the Action Research approach (specifically in relation to sustainable agricultural systems in periurban territories), and b) specific research undertaken by the two co-authors of the article, all in the context of periurban agricultural systems during the last 8 years, as well as on some of their publications. The necessary characteristics of Action Research and the researchers involved are identified, namely: a) patience; b) an emphasis on process; and c) an emphasis on participation on the part of multiple actors.


CiS
Urban Agriculture, Commons and Urban Policies: Scaling up Local Innovation
doi: 10.12924/cis2016.04010010 | Challenges in Sustainability | 2016 | Volume 4 | Issue 1
François Mancebo
International Research Center on Sustainability, Rheims University, Rheims, France
Views 316
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Publication Date: 17 May 2016
 
Abstract:

May urban agriculture be the cornerstone that helps reconfigure more sustainable cities and if so, under which conditions? And if so, what type of urban agriculture? Such are the two issues underlying this article. Why not counteracting urban sprawl by fostering what could be called “rural sprawl”, by introducing nature and rural characteristics such as farming within the city, in its interstitial areas and wastelands? In this perspective, urban agriculture becomes a common good, bringing people together and reshaping the whole urban fabric that would eventually propose a radical remaking of the urban. Urban agriculture lends particularly well to long-lasting urban policies, especially those turning environmental “bads”—such as brownfields and wastelands—into environmental “goods” and urban amenities. Urban agriculture in interstitial abandoned urban areas may be one of cities’ main seedbeds of creative innovation. It is all about the right to decide and the power to create, renewing and deepening what Henri Lefebvre called The Right to the City.


OF
An Experimental Test of a Biodynamic Method of Weed Suppression: The Biodynamic Seed Peppers
doi: 10.12924/of2016.02010017 | Organic Farming | 2016 | Volume 2 | Issue 1
Bruce Kenneth Kirchoff
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC, USA
Views 425
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Publication Date: 27 April 2016
 
Abstract:

An experimental test of a biodynamic agriculture method of weed suppression was carried out in growth chambers to establish the feasibility of the method as a preliminary to field trials. Four generations of Brassica rapa plants were used in a randomized block design. Treated flats received ashed seeds prepared according to biodynamic indications. Seed weight and counts were measured at the end of each generation, and germination of the control and experimental seed was investigated at the end of generation four. The biodynamic seed peppers, created and applied as described here, had no effect on seed production or viability, and did not effectively inhibit reproduction of the targeted species over the course of four consecutive treatments.


CiS
Building Urban Agricultural Commons: A Utopia or a Reality?
doi: 10.12924/cis2016.04010003 | Challenges in Sustainability | 2016 | Volume 4 | Issue 1
Pierre Donadieu
National School of Landscape Architecture of Versailles, Versailles, France
Views 430
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Publication Date: 25 April 2016
 
Abstract:

There are several categories of urban agriculture which need to be distinguished if we want to efficiently feed urban inhabitants with local agricultural produce while benefiting from other functions filled by urban agricultural landscapes: namely, eco-systemic functions or ecological and social functions. The second function will focus on methods to regulate unbuilt land in urban areas which have virtually no regulations and others which have strict controls preventing construction. The last will consist of possibilities to build, what I would refer to as, urban agricultural commons: in other words, tangible and intangible resources produced with farmers and gardeners for the inhabitants; for their local consumption and for the quality of the living environment, based on a political principle for common action. The concept of common is derived from the works of socioeconomist E. Ostrom (1990; [1]) and French philosophers P. Dardot et C. Laval (2014; [2]): “What is built in common”. It was applied to urban agriculture and landscape (Donadieu, 2012, 2014; [3,4]). The concept of urban agriculture has been used worldwide in the last twenty years by researchers, especially in France by A. Fleury (2005; [5]) and P. Donadieu(1998; [6]), in Mediterranean regions (Nasr and Padilla, 2004; [7]), in Asia, Africa and North and South America—all through the publications of the Resource Centres Urban Agriculture & Food Security (RUAF; [8]).


CiS
Urban Agriculture: Fostering the Urban-Rural Continuum
doi: 10.12924/cis2016.04010001 | Challenges in Sustainability | 2016 | Volume 4 | Issue 1
Francois Mancebo 1, * and Sylvie Salles 2
1 International Research Center on Sustainability, Rheims University, Rheims, France
2 Ecole d'Architecture Paris Val de Seine, Paris, France
* Corresponding author
Views 369
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Publication Date: 20 April 2016
 
Abstract:

Urban agricultural projects have been mushrooming since the end of the twentieth century, reshaping urban landscapes and even the whole urban fabric, experimenting with alternatives to the traditional urban life, sometimes creating new commons, and bringing people together. Within a city, farmers, gardeners, and their neighbors share more than just fence lines. Cities already have a huge potential for farming. Three examples can be observed in very different cities around the World: Singapore, is fully self-reliant in meat, Bamako is self-sufficient in vegetables, and in Berlin there are 80,000 community gardens on communal land and 16,000 more people are on a waiting-list [1]. And this is just the beginning; in many cities new unbuilt areas emerge in the wake of deindustrialization (derelict lands, wastelands, brownfields, etc.), or as a consequence of urban shrinking due to aging populations (as in Japan or Germany), or of emigration (as in some African mid-sized cities). These new areas are a wonderful opportunity for urban agriculture. In Detroit, thousands hectares of urban land have been given over to unemployed workers for food growing. In Britain, urban agriculture has been promoted on wastelands of 20 cities by their various councils [2]. Urban agriculture is gradually becoming a planning policy option. In Delft, the planners of the city already combine urban agriculture with several other land uses in their planning documents; in Paris, an inclusive local land development plan protects agricultural landscapes [3,4]. Urban agriculture is neither—or no more—the short-lived remnant of a rural culture nor the hipsters' latest futile craze.




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