Planning frameworks

Food and Agricultural Urbanism

Agricultural urbanism is the design of urban form to reflect  the spatial, ecological and infrastructural dimensions of agricultural production (de la Salle and Holland, 2010). Food urbanism is  “the study of food as a fundamental aspect of a city”.  It  “positions food [as] a primary transforming force capable of organizing the city and enhancing the urban experience” (Darrell, 2007).

Planning for food systems in urban areas (adapted from Watson, 2020)

Planning related to food systems, whether urban or rural, is not yet  formally recognized in Canada.  But it aims to integrate a just and sustainable food system into the core planning areas of focus (such as housing, transit, infrastructure, land use). This dimension of planning attempts to support broader societal goals of public health, ecological integrity, and social justice through each stage of the food supply chain (Morgan, 2013). It represents an attempt to rectify the longstanding omission of food in general planning practice, research, and education (Pothukuchi and Kaufman, 2000; Morgan, 2009).

Transformative Incrementalism (adapted from Buchan et al., 2019)

Building on planning theories of Friedmann (1987) and others, and emerging from local food systems work in BC,  this concept " suggests that change is achieved through a long process of incremental efforts by actors within the public, political, and bureaucratic groups to achieve convergence and align values and beliefs over time".  A core idea is that incremental change, if properly designed, can ultimately transform processes that are viewed as locked - in and subject to the dominant power dynamics.

Ecosystem Planning

Ecosystem planning - a relatively significant history of doing this in Canada related to specific regional ecosystem features, and more recently some municipal ones.  Seven principles of ecosystem planning (from Tomalty et al., 1994):

  • Use natural boundaries for planning units
  • Design based on ecological processes and functions
  • Consider long-term, wider geographic and cumulative effects
  • Inter-jurisdictional structures and decision making, with strong linkages to decision makers
  • Consultation, co-operation and partnerships
  • long-term monitoring, feedback and adaptation
  • an interdisciplinary approach to information
  • Solid resourcing for implementation