Sustainability and the social economy are two approaches that provide critiques of mainstream economic growth based on the failure to integrate environmental and social concerns. This article explores the potential for community transformation by bridging these two approaches - bringing more environmental considerations into the social economy and using the social economy to advance equity concerns within sustainability. We examine this potential through local food initiatives in two Canadian cities that are striving to create a synthesis of social and environmental objectives to achieve structural change in the way that food is produced, accessed and consumed. Both projects are founded on commitments to sustainable community development and social justice. While the initiatives illustrate the potential for community transformation by integrating sustainability and the social economy, they also illustrate the challenges associated with an incremental approach to change in the context of competition with mainstream economic activities that are heavily subsidized and do not account for negative social, economic and environmental externalities.
- local food systems
- social justice
- sustainable community development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations