Imagine living in a town surrounded by ecologically friendly farms; walkable, green, with world-class cultural and health institutions, and flexible working schedules. Envision a comfortable, rural town, devoted to growing the highest quality produce with the least amount of chemicals, packaging and transportation costs. These are the basic concepts an “agrotown”, which are rooted in the Communist Manifesto.
Thanks to the work of the late Richard Levins at the Harvard School of Public Health, and W.A. Halabi at the Center for Marxist Education, there is revived interest in agrotowns as a part of ongoing work on agroecology and sustainable development. Agrotowns were first developed in the USSR in the 1930s, but they were almost completely forgotten in recent decades. In a forthcoming article published by Routledge in International Critical Thought, the Journal of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Donald Donato has reviewed a selection of research and historical resources on agrotowns which explores early examples and provides evidence that they can play a vital role in the successful implementation of agroecology.