Right to food, right to the city: Household urban agriculture, and socionatural metabolism in Managua, Nicaragua

The ‘right to the city’ has been understood as the right of urban inhabitants to produce urban spaces, and has generally drawn on Henri Lefevbre’s work on the social production of urban space. This paper examines the socioenvironmental aspects of the right to produce urban space. The aim of the paper is to draw on and contribute to the literatures on urban political ecology and the right to the city by exploring the concept of the right to urban metabolism through an analysis of everyday food production and consumption in homes in an informal settlement in Managua. The article argues that the ecologies of informal household urban agriculture (primarily the cultivation of fruit trees) are a key way that marginalised urban inhabitants in Managua appropriate and produce urban space, and consequently, demand their rights to urban metabolism. Through the production of home ecologies based on physiological necessities and cultural food practices, households simultaneously challenge their exclusion from urban spatial practices and address the increasing insecurity of access to food in Managua.

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