Buildings to Beans: Food in Cities

Subject HORT90038 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

February, Burnley - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: N/A
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Mr John Rayner


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject will cover:

  • Global trends in Urban Agriculture
  • Plant growth requirements
  • Urban Agriculture (UA) market economies
  • Irrigation: managing different sources
  • Soil maintenance and rehabilitation
  • Integrated pest and disease management
  • Growing food on roofs
  • The role of UA in poverty alleviation
  • Subsistence UA
  • Assignment tutorial
  • Social dimensions of UA
  • Case study 1: cash and subsistence UA in the Pacific Islands
  • Case study 2: urban vegetable production in Accra, Ghana,
  • Food cooperatives in modern cities
  • Environmental risks and benefits of UA

The subject objectives are:

  • Describe the role of urban agriculture (UA) in today’s and future societies
  • Communicate the approaches to UA, its benefits and risks.
  • Outline the current practices and challenges and future prospects of UA
  • Discuss the social, economic and environmental role of UA
  • Analyse various UA options.
  • 1 x 5,000-word Assignment = 75%. Due 3 weeks after intensive teaching block.
  • 1 x 15-minute presentation = 25%. Presented on last day of intensive teaching block.
Prescribed Texts: The following key text will be drawn upon but is available in its entirety free on-line (
René van Veenhuizen (2006). Cities Farming for the Future - Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities. Published by RUAF Foundation, IDRC and IIRR.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Sourcing, interpreting and applying information from written and electronic sources to individual tasks;
  • Use scientific and technical literature to answer specific questions;
  • Time management and the meeting of deadlines;
  • Report on an issue using rigorous and objective analysis;
  • Retrieval, from a range of paper-based and electronic sources, of information required to develop understanding of a topic, and the use of this information, with appropriate recognition, in report writing.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Urban Horticulture
Master of Urban Horticulture
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bachelor of Environments (Honours) Landscape Management

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