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Placing the food system on the urban agenda: The role of municipal institutions in food systems planning

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Abstract

Food issues are generally regarded as agricultural and rural issues. The urban food system is less visible than such other systems as transportation, housing, employment, or even the environment. The reasons for its low visibility include the historic process by which issues and policies came to be defined as urban; the spread of processing, refrigeration, and transportation technology together with cheap, abundant energy that rendered invisible the loss of farmland around older cities; and the continuing institutional separation of urban and rural policy. Despite its low visibility, the urban food system nonetheless contributes significantly to community health and welfare; to metropolitan economies; connects to other urban systems such as housing, transportation, land use, and economic development; and impacts the urban environment. We examine existing or potential city institutions that could offer a more comprehensive look at the urban food system. These include the city department of food, the food policy council, and the city-planning department.

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Pothukuchi, K., Kaufman, J.L. Placing the food system on the urban agenda: The role of municipal institutions in food systems planning. Agriculture and Human Values 16, 213–224 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007558805953

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