Feeding the People: Food & Urban Sustainability

In the process of catching up on some news feeds today, I ran across this article from the BBC on a sustainable global food system for the 21st Century. This is probably one aspect of sustainability that gets the least exposure, but could be one of the most important.

One thing the article notes is that due to the increase in urban population, more than half of the world’s people now live in cities. This brings up an interesting question: where do these people get their food? Feeding the urban population of the world as it expands over the next decades will be a major component in creating sustainable cities. Traditionally, planners haven’t gotten involved in this aspect of urban planning. This is beginning to change, however. In 2007, the American Planning Association (APA) developed a Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food Planning in a effort to break through misconceptions that food has no connection with professional planning practice. The policy guide goes on to look at the land use connections to food systems and the impact of fossil fuels used to transport food the incredible distances it now travels from farm to plate.

This is one area that I’ll admit I don’t have a lot of background in, but I can see being a key piece of the puzzle of urban sustainability. As I find more information on this, I’ll post it here. If anyone reading this knows of any resources to look at, please feel free to share in the comments.

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