Buildings to Beans: Food in Cities

Subject HORT90038 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 40 hours
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours. This subject is delivered as an intensive workshop and comprises lectures, field trips and online discussion.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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:


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

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

In this subject you will learn about the history of urban agriculture in countries around the world and explore the various roles of urban agriculture in modern-day cities. Given the nature of the subject, a wide diversity of topics will be covered including: plant growth requirements, agricultural inputs (such as water and nutrients), soil contamination, pests and diseases, and urban-specific production methods. Field visits will also form part of this subject.

Learning Outcomes:

At the conclusion of this subject you should have a broad understanding of the historical drivers of urban agriculture and the current trends in countries around the world. You should be able to identify a range of different urban agriculture production methods and their various risks and benefits in particular settings, drawing on examples from different countries. You should also be able to discuss the social, economic and environmental role of urban agriculture and its potential contribution to sustainable cities of the future.


A written assignment of 5000 words = 70% (due 8 weeks after intensive workshop), group work including a 15 minute presentation during the workshop (20%), and online discussions (10%).

Prescribed Texts:

There is no single text for this subject, although it is highly recommended that students familiarise themselves with the topics to be covered. The following text provides a useful introduction and 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.

A reading list will also be provided on LMS.

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
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Tailored Specialisation

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