Exploring the Gender Dimensions of Urban Open-space Cultivation in Harare, Zimbabwe
Urban planning as a discipline and profession in its own right is still young. Provision of and access to affordable housing, public transportation, employment and health are issues that require urban planners and decisionmakers to intervene where physical planning and market forces are deemed inadequate to ensure the well-being of the people they are planning for. Food security is one area in which few planners have yet to deliberately apply a similar rationale for intervention in urban planning. Urban food cultivation in cities around the world captured this researcher’s interest, as it poignantly demonstrates a way in which people are finding food security in an urban context. In addition, it signals an area in which planners are perhaps not addressing the realities on the ground: few authorities recognize urban farming as a land-use, despite its prevalence. Such has been the case of Zimbabwe. Cultivating urban open space involves not only land-use issues that have not been addressed, but also gender issues – a second area historically neglected by planners and decision-makers the world over.