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We all know that food is a basic need, and planners have an important role to play. The time is ripe for the food system to become less of a stranger to the planning field.

PAS Report

Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy, Sustainable Places (PAS Report 563)

PAS Report 563 coverInterest in urban agriculture is rising steadily in the United States and Canada. While older, industrial cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, and Buffalo, with their drastic loss of population and their acres of vacant land, are emerging as centers for urban agriculture initiatives, backyard and community gardens in places big and small have become important symbols of the local food movement.

Because urban agriculture entails the use of urban land, planners are increasingly on the front lines of the discussion about how best to craft policies and programs to support growing food while being mindful of the interests of residents living near these projects. This PAS Report provides authoritative guidance for planners dealing with the implications of this cutting-edge practice.

APA Division Newsletter Articles

The Divisions Council challenged each Division to produce an article in their newsletter on an aspect of Food Systems Planning from their unique perspective. The following represent an array of perspectives on the subject from the Divisions.

Black Farmers, Equitable Health and Food System Planning: Leveling the Field in African American Communities

Community Gardens — United we eat, divided we starve

Creating Viable Farms

An Environmental Planner's Journey to Food Planning

Farmers in the City: Growing Community and a Local Food Economy

"Food and Fuel for the Force" Initiative

Food Assessment Article

Food Distribution Policy & Design Solutions

Food System Planning and Connections to APA Divisions

Food System Planning — Why Is It a Planning Issue?

Food System Planning: An Opportunity for Planners in Private Practice

Food Without Walls: The Planning and Economic Development Benefits of Outdoor Food

Making Farmers’ Markets a Central Part in Food Systems Planning: A Case Study of Urbana, Illinois

National Standards for Organic Certification in Bolivia

Planning to Sustain Small Farms: An Upgrading Strategy for Farmers and Institutions

Portland Food Carts: Catering to the Pedestrian

Sustainable Economic Development: Is BALLE the Answer?

The Missing Piece: Growing Community and Public Health with Urban Agriculture

Towards an Edible Urban Design

Urban Farming: Zoning for Growing and Distributing Food in Portland Neighborhoods

Westchester County Operates Farm and Environmental Center

APA's Planning and Community Health Center

The Planning and Community Health Center is one of APA's three National Centers for Planning. The center is dedicated to strengthening the connection between urban planning and community health in the U.S. It engages in collaborative, multidisciplinary research; education and outreach activities; and policy development work aimed at addressing today's pressing health issues (such social inequities, physical inactivity, poor food access) through city and regional planning. For more information visit the Planning and Community Health Research Center's work related to food system planning.

APA Food System Planning Brochure

This PDF brochure provides an overview of APA's resources, publications, and activities related to food system planning.

APA's Food Interest Group

APA's Food Interest Group (FIG) is a coalition of APA members interested in or actively engaged in food system planning at the local, regional, state, or national level.

Food System Writing Competition Winners

Zsuzsi Fodor and Benjamin W. Chrisinger are the 2011 winners of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy Division scholarships. Both students were recognized during the 2011 APA National Planning Conference in Boston.


Zsuzsi Fodor, University of British Columbia
People Systems in Support of Food Systems: The Neighbourhood Food Network Movement in Vancouver, Canada

Benjamin W. Chrisinger, University of Virginia School of Architecture
Planning Functions of Community Food Projects

Honorable Mentions

Jenny Cadigan
Urban Agriculture: A Key Element of Food System Planning in the United States

Andrea Garfinkel-Castro
Planning Rooted in Community: Securing Land Tenure for Community Gardens

Dolly Soto
An analysis of food systems planning: How can planners increase access to healthy food?

Megan Horst
A Review of Suitable Urban Agriculture Land Inventories