Designing the local food movement

2010/11/07 § Leave a comment

A lot has been written about the benefits of living close to food production, and a lot of people have landed on the locavore band wagon.  But less has been discussed about the connections between urban design as it relates to food production on a large-scale.

From Design Observer:

” …To date the enthusiasm for slow and local food has been based, on the one hand, on the assumption that abandoned or underused brownfield sites could be remediated for their productive potential; and on the other it has been based on the trend toward conserving greenfield sites on city peripheries — on dedicating valuable ecological zones to food production and to limiting suburban sprawl. But these laudable goals are not much concerned with how urban farming might affect urban form…”

I think that last sentence says a lot about the decisions made by the urban public.   Yes, there is a demand for locally sourced restaurants in our cities today, but how  come that has yet to translate to policy on the city level?  Why haven’t we seen more locavore-influenced planning practices, those that would give special use permits to owners of vacant lots to lease to small-scale community farms in the short-term, allowing for properties to be used while real estate values slowly appreciate towards their longer term values?  Not saying these sorts of ideas haven’t been done before, because they have.  it’s just that they are too much on the down low.


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