Food Systems Planning: Growing Connections and Planning for Health Across the Country

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
Add to My Log

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:

Austin – Plan4Health Pilot Program

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.

City of Minneapolis, MN

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.

Idaho Plan4Health

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.


Kimberley Hodgson , AICP , Cultivating Healthy Places , Vancouver , 02 (see bio)
Diane Kushlan , AICP , Kushlan Associates , Boise , ID (see bio)
Edwin Marty , Austin , TX (see bio)
Tamara Downs Schwei , City of Minneapolis , Minneapolis , MN (see bio)
Paul Forgey , AICP , City of Albany , Albany , GA
Daren Fluke , AICP , City of Boise , Boise , ID (see bio)