…on call to meet with your neighbors, find a place to stand, dig in, and get your hands in the dirt. It deals with justice not just as a distributive matter — how to divvy up the harvest so the one per cent don’t get almost all of it and the poor get little — but a capability matter: the right of people to develop their capacities and not have to settle for a consuming life that renders us spectators of our own lives.
At the very least, she is refreshing. People concerned about the runaway rates of mental ill-health among young people cannot ignore what she has to say about addressing human needs to work directly in nature — and thereby counterbalance the highly built, urbanized, synthetic, abstracted, impersonal, mediated and corporate-controlled environment of dense cities.
As I read her articles, Tornaghi is so bold as to put our psychic needs of our deeply-rooted human spirit on par with deeply human physical needs for food — and thereby to classify citizen access to urban food production as essential. Only such a deep understanding of the need to engage with and participate in food production could account for her proposal that access to food production opportunities be classified as part of a citizen’s inborn and inherent “right to the city.”