Date of Award

August 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Ryan Holifield

Committee Members

Jasmine Alinder, Anne Bonds


Milwaukee, networks, urban agriculture


Urban agriculture has begun to shape urban spaces throughout the United States. Building from research on urban agriculture projects in Milwaukee I argue that in order for researchers to better understand urban agriculture, they must more thoroughly examine the various developmental and operational strategies that urban agriculture nonprofit organizations implement. The research questions that guides my thesis are the following: first, how do the developmental and operational strategies of urban agriculture projects differ? Second, how do different stakeholders perceive the implications of these approaches for creating positive and negative effects? To do this, I collected data through interviews and participant observation with organizers and residents working at and/or living near two different urban agriculture sites in Milwaukee. First, the Victory Garden Urban Farm, a 1.5 acre farm located in Harambee and operated by the nonprofit organization Victory Gardens Initiative. Second, the Young Farmers Garden, a youth education program run by Groundwork Milwaukee and located within the Metcalfe Park neighborhood. I highlight how both Harambee and Metcalfe Park have made use of different networks to realize their goals. I also shown that these goals have influenced the scales at which these organizations operate and where the benefits they create are felt.