Community Food Systems: Strengthening Community Health and Economy

Planners have historically focused on air, water, shelter and food. In the 19th century, as cities expanded, light and air gained prominence in an effort to combat public health concerns and disease. In the early 20th century, the garden city movement addressed the role of food in relation to planning. This relationship was lost for decades, but now food is moving to the fore once again - regionally, nationally and globally. Public health and welfare concerns are evident when issues such as ‘food deserts’, healthy eating options and rising obesity rates are addressed by planning organizations. Communities seeking to transform their food systems to promote access to affordable and nutritious food for everyone can do so through planning tools (e.g. zoning and community planning) and grassroots initiatives.

Downloadable Documents: 
Virginia National Resources Leadership Institute
Charlottesville, VA: Virginia National Resources Leadership Institute
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Publication Date: 
January 1, 2009
Literature Category: 
Outreach Materials