246081 Farm-friendly cities: Increasing food access through policy change to support urban agriculture

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:50 AM

Sheila R. Castillo, MUPP , Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center (MC 625), Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Rosemary George, MA , Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center (MC 625), Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Suzanne Davenport, EdD , Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Cynthia A. Boyd, MSN, PhD, FAAN , University of Illinois at Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives and Healthy City Collaborative, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Joseph Harrington, BA , Assistant Commissioner for Community Engagement, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Introduction: In recent years, the U.S. food system has been faulted for failing to meet the nation's food security, nutritional, economic, environmental, and social needs. Four of the six leading causes of death in the U.S. are chronic diseases related to the food we eat. Research illustrates wide disparities in access to food stores along racial, ethnic, and income lines. A small, but growing, number of urban and suburban agriculture practitioners are working to increase community-level food production. Government regulations, however, often present obstacles and limit a community's right to define its food system.

Methods: Changing municipal planning policies is one strategy to decrease food access disparities. We are identifying specific regulations and other policies that restrict local food production by interviewing municipal planners and urban agriculture practitioners. Specific policy and programmatic changes planners can implement to address these obstacles will be recommended.

Results: We are partnering with the American Planning Association to produce and pilot a nationally replicable TA workshop curriculum and toolkit for local and regional planners. These will include a template for (i) an initial, region-wide assessment; (ii) workshop content and format; and (iii) evaluation tools to measure both short and long-term impact of the event.

Discussion: Adopting urban farmer-friendly planning regulations will promote the local production of food and increase access to healthy, affordable food for all. Our goal is that at least 10 governments will make policy or program changes to accommodate urban agriculture within six months of the pilot workshop.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least three potential beneficial population health outcomes from an increase in the consumption of locally produced food. List at least two examples of municipal regulations or policies that currently restrict local food production. Discuss how changes in the practice of urban and regional planners can affect disparities in access to healthy food.

Keywords: Food Security, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for organizing and overseeing the policy-change work that will be presented in this section. I also have a degree in urban planning and policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.