The Community Gardening Project in Belo Horizonte: practicing systemic networks, agroecology and solidarity economy
Nowadays, most of the Brazilian population is living in cities, and slums are growing with poor living conditions, in a context of enormous social-economic inequality. One of the local challenges is the poor nutrition of its inhabitants, along with the high cost of healthier food. This paper presents the results of an urban gardening project, developed through the partnership of universities, communities and public institutions at the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. It represents university research and extension projects on building community gardens, aiming at the constitution of a social-economic innovative process to increase local social cohesion, popular protagonism and food sovereignty. Each garden that is part of the Community Gardening Project is facing particular challenges in relation to its social, environmental and economic sustainability, but the initiative is proving to be a significant alternative to humanize those spaces, systemically bringing together approaches as Systemic Design, Agroecology and Food Sovereignty and Solidarity Economy, Integral Endeavours and developing cooperative and innovative actions.
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