Mission: Food Systems

The inherent problems with our global food systems include our disintegrated connection to nature as urban dwellers and an overused dependent system of distribution that relies on fossil fuels. 

As our western urban centers grew as a result of the industrial revolution, cities surged with newcomers.  This growth put pressure on adjacent farm land that formally was a productive space for food and livestock. This pressure eventually turned cities from productive and self-reliant places into over burdened and dependent places relying on larger scale distribution of food production to sustain its growing population.  Over the evolution of the city and its unregulated growth, people lost the direct connection between rural and urban and eventually the actual processes of growing food.  In this evolution previously mentioned the rural took on a new form of meaning, once a place of production to now a place of recreation. This changing attitude of place is reflected in peoples attitude towards the rural and the mistreatment of the land when they visit for vacations from their urban landscapes. 

Another inherent problem is the reliance on a distribution method that requires a high amount of fossil fuels to sustain itself.  With the emergence of new technologies, our older system of production and distribution had become obsolete and pushed to spread farther across the landscape. This technological advancement has allowed us to spread our operations further reducing the energy value of the produce we are growing contributing to the environmental burden placed on the planet.

As a planner, a tool that could be used to solve the inherent problems previously mentioned would be the reworking of the public policy and zoning code system in our urban settings.  It was mentioned that exclusionary zoning was a major impediment to the integration of city farms in urban environments and so the reconfiguration of those same codes could allow for better uses in the future.  This in turn would allow for a better connection to nature since homeowners would be allowed to practice urban farming and in turn reduce the reliance on the fossil fuel system of distribution since produce would be grown locally. 

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