Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Timothy Redmond

Second Advisor

Novella Carpenter


Urban agriculture has long been used as a tool for promoting food justice and urban sustainability in municipalities across the globe. From vertical and rooftop growing operations to community and residential garden plots, the idealistically transformative nature of urban agriculture is becoming an increasingly popular subject among scholars, city planners, policymakers, and activists alike. A handful of cautionary scholars, however, have begun to uncover the elusive role that food justice oriented urban agriculture projects can play in facilitating gentrification and displacement in low-income communities. My capstone project focuses on the relationship between urban agriculture and gentrification, specifically asking: How does urban agriculture contribute to gentrification in Oakland, and in what ways do urban agriculture organizations address gentrification and displacement in their communities? To answer, I engage with two farms in Oakland that embody a food justice mission in their efforts to serve their communities: City Slicker Farms, and Acta Non Verba. Through a mixed-methods approach I find evidence which both supports and disputes this claim of gentrification, and I identify an effective model for food justice oriented urban agriculture organizations to strive towards in pursuit of their goals. I argue that food justice oriented urban agriculture organizations engaging in work in historically marginalized communities must be engaged in the work of affordable housing to truly achieve their mission of food justice.