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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Urban agriculture policy community Kelowna Hamilton, Cassandra Lee


This research is a qualitative descriptive case study about the urban agriculture policy community in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. I use Sabatier’s Advocacy Coalition Framework to structure the research and examine the policy actors within the policy community, their beliefs about urban agriculture in Kelowna, the relationships they share with other policy actors, the challenges they face, and their priorities in advancing the urban agriculture agenda to align with their vision of a healthy community. This research is informed by population health and food security theory, and the World Health Organization Healthy Cities movement. This research was conducted using semi-structured interviews with 11 policy actors in the policy community, representing a variety of sectors in the food system. This study reveals that overall, the policy actors interviewed understood urban agriculture in much the same way. In their own language, they all pointed to the importance of urban agriculture with respect to its contribution to fostering a healthy community. The actors could articulate their roles as they relate to urban agriculture policy, but many actors recognized that their roles were evolving and with that, their understanding of their roles in the policy community. This contributed to their understanding of the roles of other policy actors in the community and if, why, and how to partner with them. Some challenges with partnerships are identified. The participants shared many priorities. The results suggest that the policy community is not well networked and that most actors do not collaborate with each other, and in most cases, are not aware of one another. However, collaborations between a few of the policy actors has suggested the modest formation of a policy coalition. The policy actors have a clear desire to work together and to better understand the policy community. Additionally, the policy actors agree that urban agriculture is beneficial for Kelowna and that more opportunities for urban agriculture must be pursued and promoted to foster a healthier community. This research provides a snapshot of Kelowna’s urban agriculture policy community and provides insight into potential priorities and possible next steps for the policy actors within it.

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