HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.
AGRI 2023

Laura Martins de Carvalho

Laura Martins de Carvalho, Speaker at Horticulture Conferences
FGV-SP, Brazil
Title : Urban community gardens as a means of female empowerment and urban sustainability: Tackling gender inequality and illegal waste disposal


More sustainable cities require discussing the use of land turned into illegal waste disposal turned into community gardens, recovery of degraded areas, regulation of resource use and issues involving disputes over urban development models. These conceptions are anchored in the paths agreed in global pacts and in the Sustainable Development Goals, which propose more resilient cities, capable of reacting and reinventing themselves. This presentation aims to bring us closer to experiences that show the potential of collective action and solutions led by women who produce not only food, but also new horizons of livelihoods, income generation, and overcoming of structural violence. These community gardens bring us to diverse agricultural practices that take place in São Paulo and its surroundings, for food production, against waste and in the search for full use of these, environmental education and other solutions to the problems and challenges that women face and that require institutional actions with intersectoral public policies. The phenomenon of urban and peri-urban agriculture needs to be treated as part of urban planning and, as the different histories and contexts of neighborhoods and regions show, it needs to be considered as plural and diverse. It is not just one way of doing things, but several and with perspectives as different as what is experienced and translated by women collaboratively in the creation of the common.

Audience Take Away Notes

  • The audience will be able to see the insights regarding the different types of urban agriculture practices led by women in socially vulnerable areas; the potential for mobilization and popular participation of female urban farmers in social districts; and the transformation of land that was a former waste disposal spot into a community garden.
  • Scholars, civil society organizations, public servants, practitioners, and policy makers will benefit from the presentation, as multiple stakeholders produce urban agriculture in socially vulnerable areas and engender a process of liberation of oppressive structures for women.  
  • Grassroots urban female farmers networks offer local solutions to complex social problems in socially vulnerable areas such as income generation; access to healthy food in areas of food apartheid; environmental conservation; environmental education; and women emancipation from structural inequalities and violence.


Laura Martins de Carvalho has a PhD. in Global Health and Sustainability (Faculty of Public Health – University of Sao Paulo, 2021); a Master of Science in Environment and Development (Trinity College Dublin, 2012); and a BA in Social Sciences (PUC-SP, 2007). Her research topics are on urban agriculture in socially vulnerable areas, popular entrepreneurship; urban agroecology; women empowerment through urban agriculture. She is experienced in conducting and coordinating research in disadvantaged urban communities of São Paulo, Brazil; Dublin, Ireland; Lisbon, Portugal; and in rural communities in Rwanda, Africa. She currently a research assistant at the Center for Public Administration and Government / FGV-SP and looking for potential collaborators.

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