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Planning and Food Sovereignty in Conflict Cities: Insights From Urban Growers in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

Raja, Samina; Parvaiz, Athar; Sanders, Lanika; Judelsohn, Alexandra; Guru, Shireen; Bhan, Mona; Osuri, Goldie; Tak, Mehroosh; Mui, Yeeli; Frimpong Boamah, Emmanuel


Samina Raja

Athar Parvaiz

Lanika Sanders

Alexandra Judelsohn

Shireen Guru

Mona Bhan

Goldie Osuri

Mehroosh Tak

Yeeli Mui

Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah


Protracted political conflicts disrupt people's lives, including their ability to feed themselves. Urban planning, operating within the ambit of the state, impacts food systems in conflict cities. We examine the confluence of planning and political misgovernance on food sovereignty in conflict cities. We do so by documenting the experiences of urban growers who cultivate, eat, and distribute indigenous greens (haakh) in the city of Srinagar in the Himalayan belt of Jammu and Kashmir, the site of a protracted conflict. Experiences of growers were analyzed within the context of the city's complex urban planning landscape. Empirical methods included qualitative interviews of urban growers (n = 40) and review of land use plans and policies. We found that haakh production ensured access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally celebrated greens for haakh growing households. That said, intersecting burdens from undemocratic governance and militarism (from India), weak forms of local planning (within Srinagar), and climate change threaten urban growers' work, and imperils food sovereignty. Completing a study in a conflict region was extraordinarily challenging. The study's generalizability is limited by its short duration and small sample size—the inductive findings set the stage for future research.


Raja, S., Parvaiz, A., Sanders, L., Judelsohn, A., Guru, S., Bhan, M., …Frimpong Boamah, E. (in press). Planning and Food Sovereignty in Conflict Cities: Insights From Urban Growers in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. Journal of the American Planning Association, 1-13.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 1, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 14, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 20, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 27, 2022
Journal Journal of the American Planning Association
Print ISSN 0194-4363
Electronic ISSN 1939-0130
Publisher American Planning Association (APA)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-13
Keywords Urban Studies; Development; Geography, Planning and Development
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:; Published: 2022-07-14


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