Regional Foodsheds: Are Our Local Zoning and Land Use Regulations Healthy?
34 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2011 Last revised: 28 Jan 2014
Date Written: September 1, 2011
Governments at all levels have become increasingly interested in fostering healthy eating habits and sustainable agricultural production. Promoting access to locally grown produce is an important part of many policy goals seeking to address these concerns, and the concept of regional foodsheds has risen in popularity as one method to achieve these goals. Research indicates that community based food systems have the potential to address food security, public health, social justice, and ecological health. Food production and consumption patterns are influenced by a range of federal, state, and municipal policies, but meaningful change in regional food system policies is likely to start with state and local governments, which can take proactive measures to strengthen their regional foodsheds through a variety of land use planning and regulatory actions. This Article focuses on how existing land use plans and regulations can promote healthier and more sustainable communities through the foodshed movement. In particular, this Article discusses specific land use strategies that can be implemented in urban and suburban settings to facilitate local and regional food production and distribution that go beyond farmland preservation strategies and examine, among other things, smaller-scale community gardens, residential agricultural uses and farmers markets.
Keywords: urban agriculture, food, zoning, foodshed, locally grown food, community gardens, intergovernmental, food policy councils,comprehensive planning, farm stands, farmers markets, mobile markets, backyard chickens, beekeeping, chickens, agritourism, green roofs, edible landscaping, sustainability
JEL Classification: K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation