Food Systems Planning: Growing Connections and Planning for Health Across the Country
You'll learn about:
- How to successfully engage community interests and collaborate with public health officials and others with common goals around health.
- Various planning tools and strategies to strengthen the community food system and to achieve broader community goals
- The opportunities and challenges faced by local and regional governments in developing and implementing successful food systems related plans and policies.
- Presenting outcomes with originality and variety of communications tools.
- How to sustain efforts and support future implementation in a way that results in real changes.
Two projects championed by APA’s Planning and Community Health Center, support communities to strengthen local food systems planning: Growing Food Connections and Plan4Health. Many communities across the country – both urban and rural – struggle with challenging social, economic and health related issues like poverty, racial inequities, chronic disease, and economic disinvestment. Food plays a central role in our culture, health, economy and environment. While each project showcases a range of communities and strategies, both projects are united in efforts to strengthen connections between planning and health, between community members and local governments to support system systems planning.
Representatives from five sites will share their experiences and lessons learned through a facilitated discussion:
A Neighborhood Food Systems Planning process is currently being piloted in North Central Austin, using community engagement and outreach to identify strategies and tactics that will improve access to healthy and local foods. Through the planning process, neighborhood residents will have the opportunities and information necessary to access food that is nutritious, affordable, and culturally appealing.
Building on existing community food system efforts and public interest in local foods, the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota has successfully developed a broad range of food systems related policies. The municipal government and its strong non-governmental partners take a full systems approach, addressing food system areas ranging from urban agriculture to local food business, community kitchens, public markets, food retail and access, and neighborhood connections.
Dougherty County, Georgia (Albany): Historically part of the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy,” Dougherty County has a rich history tied to agriculture, America’s early Indian culture, and the Flint River. Led by the Albany Movement—a desegregation coalition formed in the county seat for which it was named—the county played an important role in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.
Boise’s Idaho Plan4Health Coalition is committed to improving Vista neighborhood residents’ access to healthy food options as well as revitalizing the community. The Idaho Plan4Health Coalition used a mix of data collection approaches to build a truer picture of the neighborhood than might typically be possible. The results of this neighborhood food assessment incorporated data from key informant interviews, a neighborhood survey, demographic analysis, and observations from being on the ground within the neighborhood. Using data and resident feedback, a strategic action plan was created to promote healthy lifestyles through healthy eating.
Luna County, New Mexico (Deming): Luna County is nearly 3,000 square miles of open space and striking natural features. Located in southwestern New Mexico, it shares a 54-mile border with Mexico, and its International Port of Entry provides round-the-clock service between Chihuahua and the United States for a variety of agricultural products. More than two-thirds of its land base is managed by the federal or state government, and the county receives payment in lieu of taxes on public land.
, Cultivating Healthy Places
Confirmed SpeakerKimberley Hodgson, MURP, MS, AICP, RD is the founder and principal of Cultivating Healthy Places, an international consulting business specializing in community health, social equity and resilient food systems planning. As a certified planner and health professional, her work focuses on conducting policy-relevant research and providing technical assistance to the public and private sectors related to the design and development of healthy, sustainable places. Hodgson is currently a co-investigator of a $3.96 million grant awarded to the University at Buffalo by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Food Systems Program. The project, Growing Food Connections, will generate knowledge about the effectiveness of local and regional government policies in improving food security in underserved communities, strengthening the resilience of rural communities, and/or supporting the economic viability of food production, and will build the capacity of local and regional governments to adopt and implement these policies. As the former Senior Research Associate and Manager of the Planning and Community Health Research Center at the American Planning Association, Ms. Hodgson managed several national research projects and engaged in multiple outreach and education activities, which focused on the integration of community health issues into contemporary urban and regional planning practice. She was the principal investigator of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Program grant to identify and analyze municipal comprehensive and sustainability plans from across the United States that explicitly address food access and other food systems issues. She is the author of Planning for Food Access and Community-Based Food Systems, co-author of Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy Sustainable Places and a co-author of the Principles of a Healthy, Sustainable Food System. She also served on multiple national advisory committees related to health and the built environment and provided expertise to the First Lady’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force on food systems and food access. Ms. Hodgson is a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council (VFPC) and the Chair of the American Planning Association’s Food Systems Planning Interest Group (APA-FIG). She holds an undergraduate degree from New York University in pre-medicine, a Master of Science in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning with a specialization in community health and sustainability from Virginia Tech.
, Kushlan Associates
Confirmed SpeakerDiane T. Kushlan, AICP Kushlan | Associates Boise, Idaho Diane has a passion for community planning that she has embraced for over forty years in California, Washington State, and Idaho. After working for local governments, most notably as Community Development Director for Carmel, California and Development Services Director for Mercer Island, Washington, Diane started her own consulting practice in 2002. Focused on Idaho local governments and non-profits, she has provided professional services on close to fifty diverse planning projects. Among her many volunteer interests is in food system planning, which has included leading a research project for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) on sustainable agriculture. Diane received a Master’s Degree in City Planning and a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Administration from San Diego State University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, (AICP); serves on the board of the American Planning Association (APA) Idaho Chapter as the professional development officer; and is an adjunct professor in the Community and Bio-regional Planning Program at the University of Idaho. She has been recognized with a national leadership award from APA, and as an Idaho Business Review Women of the Year.
Tamara Downs Schwei
, City of Minneapolis
Confirmed SpeakerTamara Downs Schwei has served as Homegrown Minneapolis/Local Food Policy Coordinator at the City of Minneapolis for the past two years. Tamara supports the work of the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council and works on initiatives to improve the community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost more healthy, sustainable and locally grown food. Current projects include convening the City’s more than 30 farmers markets around collaborative goals including shared metrics, marketing and outreach, vendor support and other opportunities. Prior to this role, Tamara served as the Executive Director of Urban Roots in St. Paul for nearly seven years. Urban Roots operates youth internship, education and action projects that improve the community’s health and environment through sustainable agriculture, food entrepreneurship, cooking, and environmental restoration. Tamara also spent more than 10 prior years working for public and non-profit agencies toward improved community health. Tamara holds a Master of Public Policy in Sustainable Community and Economic Development from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Spanish.
, City of Albany
, City of Boise
Confirmed SpeakerDaren Fluke joined the City of Boise as the Comprehensive Planning Manager in the summer of 2013. Previously, he worked as a planning consultant, managed the current planning division at Ada County, Idaho, and worked in long range planning with the City of Eugene, Oregon. He holds degrees in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a board member of the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, and is serving in his third term as the president of the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association.