Spatial planning directly affects the food system, including decisions about protecting land for farming, planning permission for food retailing and waste management facilities, and encouraging urban food production. This report explores how local authorities and communities can use planning policy and decisions to create more local and sustainable food systems.
The role of planning in creating healthy and sustainable environments, including the food system, is increasingly being recognised. The American Planning Association, for example, has a policy which incorporates all parts of the food system from production to food waste, and planners are able to take courses on planning and food for their qualifications. In the UK, the London Plan specifically notes the need to be in-line with the London Food Strategy, and there is explicit reference to “land for food” and encouragement for both commercial and non-commercial food growing.
Historically, our towns and cities have been built around the supply and distribution of food. Today, planning can affect the food and farming system in a number of ways, so this report - based on the findings of research, examples of what is being achieved locally, and the findings of a seminar with planning, food and community development professionals - focuses on what planners and associated professionals could do to help create a more sustainable food and farming system. For example, they can:
We acknowledge that planners alone cannot redress all the damage to sustainable development currently being done by the food and farming system and will need to work closely with other professionals in health, environment, economic development and property development. However, local authority planners play a vital role by helping to create a policy framework that will support sustainable food system locally and also by integrating sustainable food into local planning and development decision making.
2. Food, planning and sustainable development
3. Conclusions and recommendations
Sources of more information
Planning Food Cities
Sustain’s new guide for Councils draws on the experience of planning authorities in collecting evidence to support and defend planning policies...
For the first time, this guide brings together in one place examples of planning policies around the UK that support community food growing. It is...
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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.