In 1995 "Urban Agriculture" was not listed at the United States Library of Congress, the world's largest repository of information. On October 21, 2008 I checked Urban Agriculture on Google, there were four million entries. Next I clicked the organization I work with [The Urban Agriculture Network, TUAN] and found over 420,000 entries. Last I checked my own name [Jac Smit] and found 6,000 entries.
In 1995 if a graduate student wished to research a paper on urban agriculture he or she could not get permission from their professor, as it was not an acceptable topic.
Here is one explanation of what happened in a dozen years. The beginning may well be a global survey done at the United Nations University [UNU], in the late 1980s titled "The Food Energy Nexus" (FEN). Somewhat to their surprise, fourteen of the thirty seven papers included in the survey were about urban agriculture, around the globe. The summary report was not released until the mid 1990s.
The next most recognized publication, Urban Agriculture, Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities, was launched at the World Urban Forum in Istanbul in 1996 by the United Nations Development Program [UNDP]. This book has been accepted as the "Seminal Document" by many academic and professional organizations. It is based on visits to twenty countries between 1992 and 1994, visits to another ten countries prior to that date, and research at a dozen institutions in countries on all continents. I am pleased to have been the lead author of this important work.