Environmental and Food Justice Research Project
The Environmental and Food Justice Research Project aims to assess environmental and food justice in San Jose, provide historical, cultural and theoretical context, and examine the work of social movements promoting urban agriculture as a solution to our city's current food problems. While there are many studies on urban agriculture in the United States, there is little work on this in San Jose, a region of wealth creation and rapid transformation from an important agricultural valley to a hub for technological innovation. We will undertake a pilot project on food and environmental justice issues around urban agriculture with a focus on backyard gardening and school gardens. Our approach in this research project will be one of participatory action research, with the goal of including communities and community partners as participants in all steps of the research process. This project will include muliscale research on patterns of food access and availability in San Jose, evaluating projects such as school gardens and urban backyard gardens and examining the cumulative environmental benefits and burdens of both our local environments and urban agriculture. This research is an interdisciplinary collaborative research project with faculty members from the SCU Environmental Studies Institute, the SCU Anthropology Department in collaboration with graduate students at UCSC.