[Foodplanning] Urban Planning and Food - conference in Cardiff,
joenasr at compuserve.com
Sun Dec 14 15:25:49 PST 2008
This report on a recent conference organized by Kevin Morgan at Cardiff Univ. will be of interest to readers of this list.
Nice job, Kevin, for getting an AESOP thematic group approved!
joenasr at compuserve.com
(alternates: joenasr at sympatico.ca
jnasr at ryerson.ca)
From: INTERNET:editor at foodforethought.net, INTERNET:editor at foodforethought.net
To: [unknown], joenasr
Date: 09/12/2008 10:09 AM
RE: Urban Planning and Food
Editor's Note: Foodforethought Contributing Editor Alison Blay-Palmer reports on a recent conference held in Cardiff, Wales. The conference featured presentations by leading academics that see planning as integral to food system planning. References for the various presentations are included in this posting.
Feeding the City: Urban Planning and the New Food Equation
by Alison Blay-Palmer
International Conference held at Cardiff University, School of City and Regional Planning, November 6 and 7, 2008
Feeding the City signals the beginning of getting food onto the EU planning agenda. As part of his introductory remarks, Professor Kevin Morgan announced that the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) had accepted his recommendation to establish a Special Thematic Group to study Food and Planning. It joins other key planning areas including New Technologies, Resilience and Risks Mitigation, Research Ethics and Complexity.
Building on this momentum, the conference explored both theory and praxis in developed and developing countries. Participants included farmers, members from the Welsh Assembly, representatives from the Soil Association and farmer's markets, public health officials, as well as academics from the UK, Canada and the US. Dr. Kami Pothukuchi (Wayne State University, Detroit) set the tone with Urban Food Planning: Theoretical and Practical Challenges, describing her ten-year journey with Jerry Kaufman (Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, Madison) to get food on the US planning agenda. It culminated in the APA Food Planning Policy Guide in 2007.
Kami used two case studies, the Sustainable Food Plan for Oakland, CA and the Healthy Community Food System Plan for the Waterloo (Canada) as examples of comprehensive food plans. Both discuss community food security, preservation of agricultural land and public education to build capacity and strengthen people's knowledge about healthy food. Kami then provided case studies of innovative food-based approaches to economic development, health, ecological sustainability, social equity and ways to value native and ethnic food cultures. Kami concluded with the challenges to merging food and planning including: boundaries and jurisdictions; translation of goals into local plans; and, adequate resources.
Olivio Argenti from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Rome office provided a glimpse into their perspective on planning for food security. He described the need for vision as we plan for the huge urban population growth in developing countries. According to Olivio, the challenge is, "Meeting increasing urban food demand, reducing import dependence and conveying safe and nutritious food to consumers at reasonable prices, while creating jobs in the food distribution sector." To accomplish this, stakeholders must be specific about their needs. Through training, research, and publications, the goal is to work with policy-makers to develop relevant strategies. Argenti underscored that the FAO is not a donor organization and as a result local authorities must identify sources of funding. Mr. Argenti's 'takeaway' was that a whole food system approach is needed along the food supply and distribution chains.
After an outstanding locally-sourced lunch, Dr. Blay-Palmer from Canada detailed the Toronto Food Policy Council's (TFPC) role as a world leader in food policy since its inception. Its ground-breaking 2001 food charter has been copied by numerous cities across NA. Much of TFPC's success lies in the creativity and vision of its current manager, Wayne Roberts and his predecessor Rod MacRae. Roberts uses an "issue management" strategy to offer multi-functional solutions to everyone from field to fork. Working with a volunteer citizen board and reporting to the City of Toronto Public Health, the TFPC leverages networks and resources to get food onto everyone's agenda. It accomplishes this through research, community outreach, consultation and programming.
TFPC has authored or commissioned over twenty reports on topics as diverse as: moving from food charity to food security; the links between health, wealth and the environment; and the health benefits of community gardening. Projects spun off from the TFPC merge social inclusion, youth self-esteem building, city beautification, the creation of market opportunities for local farmers and improved access to healthier food for consumers. FoodShare, Afri-Can Food Basket urban agriculture projects, "Beautiful and Clean" Toronto projects and rooftop gardens illustrate their proactive and positive attitude to getting things done. Most recently, TFPC is taking it to the street as it develops healthier street food to provide access to healthier food and promote Toronto's progressive image.
As the TFPC evolves and matures, it is increasingly a two-way conduit and translator between citizen needs and City of Toronto policy and programmes. By creating traction for issues the TFPC keeps food issues on administrators' desks and in the minds of citizens.
Ben Reynolds from SUSTAIN: the alliance for better food and farming finished up the day describing the creation of the London Food Strategy. He discussed the challenges of implementing a food strategy amidst recent changes in municipal government. He provided insights into related initiatives including urban gardens, harvest celebrations, and Rootmaster, a double decker bus that has been converted to a cafe serving Asian/ Euro vegan cuisine.
Day Two began with a presentation by Carole Rakodi from International Development at Birmingham University. Framed through a livelihoods analysis and an urban food supply lens, Carole analyzed the opportunities and constraints offered by livelihood opportunities in developing country urban centres. She suggested policy-makers need to recognize the importance of urban-rural linkages as two-way flows of business. These opportunities are important sources of business diversification and resiliency. Rakodi's conclusion was that policy-makers need to focus on systems rather than sectors as a way to improve prospects for livelihood opportunities in developing countries.
Cecilia Rocha (Ryerson University, Toronto) wrapped up the event with a talk on the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) policy in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Due in part to Fome Zero, and a firm commitment to poverty reduction, Brazil is on track to meet its Millennium Development Goals. Fome Zero offers a model for scaling up food policy. Building from the principle that food is a right of citizenship, Brazilian policy includes "
the right of all to regular and permanent access to food in sufficient quantity and quality, without compromising access to other essential needs, on the basis of food habits which promote health and respect cultural diversity, and which are environmentally, culturally, economically, and socially sustainable" (Article 3 of LOSAN, Rocha translation). This moves food from 'crisis' to entitlement and into health and education departments. Thirty-one government food programmes are facilitated and provided under Fome Zero.
The Bolsa Familia (BF) (family allowance) is an example. In 2007 the BF provided $4.1 billion (US) in direct assistance to 11.1 million poor families, mostly through women. This money is contingent on children staying in school and getting vaccinations and care for pregnant and nursing women. Other innovative programmes include school meals, support for family-based agriculture and the availability of affordable, healthy meals through public restaurants. While Cecilia was quick to point to shortcomings (for example, there are not enough clinics to support the increased health care demand created by the BF), one cannot ignore the accomplishment of Brazil as it takes on issues of poverty and food insecurity.
All told, the conference provided a theoretical context for considering food and planning in both developed and developing world contexts. The case studies offered positive examples and pointed to potential hazards as we move the food and planning agenda forward.
Links to references from:
Dr. Kami Pothukuchi's (Wayne State University, Department of Geography and Urban Planning) presentation:
Economic development (the Dane County Agricultural Resources http://danedocs.countyofdane.com/webdocs/PDF/PlanDev/ComprehensivePlan/updates/ancr/2006/draft_ancr_res_revised_20060227.pdf ; the Marin Countywide Plan http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/CD/main/comdev/ADVANCE/cwp/index.cfm ; and, the "Local Food Purchase Policy" in the Woodbury County Policy for Rural Economic Revitalization http://www.planning.org/pas/infopackets/pdf/EIP-16.pdf )
Health (the Fresh Food Initiative in Pennsylvania http://www.thefoodtrust.org/php/programs/super.market.campaign.php ; the Healthy Bodegas program in New York http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/health/20080303/9/2451 , and Healthy Corner Stores in Oakland http://www.healthycornerstores.org/resources.php and urban agriculture projects in Madison http://urpl.wisc.edu/ecoplan/index.php?page=goal_1 , Milwaukee http://milwaukee.uwex.edu/hort/urbanag/ , Seattle http://www.cityfarmer.info/seattle-market-gardens-urban-agriculture/ and Portland)
Ecological sustainability (Troy Community Farm in Madison http://www.troygardens.org/farm.html and Food Wastes to Farms in San Francisco http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/compost110504.cfm)
Social equity (the New York City Council on the Environment including community gardens, Greenmarkets and the New Farmer Development Project)
Valuing native and ethnic food cultures (Tohono O'odham Community Food System Project www.tocaonline.org and the Mino Miijim (Good Food) White Earth Land Restoration Project www.nativeharvest.com).
Olivio Argenti's (UN Food and Agricultural Organization) presentation:
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (http://www.fao.org/ )
Dr. Alison Blay-Palmer's (Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Waterloo Ontario) presentation:
Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) (http://www.toronto.ca/health/tfpc_index.htm)
FoodShare's Good Food Box (http://www.foodshare.net/goodfoodbox01.htm )
AfriCan urban agriculture projects (http://www.carrot.com/carrotcache/page2-african-food.htm )
Beautiful and Clean Toronto
Rooftop gardens (http://www.greenroofs.org/)
Ben Reynolds from SUSTAIN: the alliance for better food and farming: London Food Strategy www.lda.gov.uk/londonfood
Dr. Cecilia Rocha's (Ryerson University, Centre for Food Security and School of Nutrition) presentation:
Fome Zero (Zero Hunger): http://www.fomezero.gov.br
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WHO WE ARE: Foodforethought is an information service that encourages dialogue and exploration of innovative trends in the global food system. The service is managed by James Kuhns of MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture in collaboration with Amber McNair of the University of Toronto in association with the Centre for Urban Health Initiatives (CUHI), and Wayne Roberts of the Toronto Food Policy Council. To subscribe, please contact editor at foodforethought.net.
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