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Agricultural Urbanism

Where you eat = what you eat. Thank to Janne Moren on Flickr for the captivating Creative Commons photo from Osaka, Japan

Urban agriculture is a beloved topic in Vancouver, but Mark Holland’s lecture today at the Gaining Ground Summit considered food through physical, social and spiritual lenses. In this light, the case  for agricultural urbanism is an issue of not just individual health but city health.

A brief list of the topics covered in Mark Holland’s lecture are as follows:


  • Sufficient food: having access to food
  • Landscape of unreal food: so enticing but there are diminishing returns with each bite
  • Health:  obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure
  • Where you eat = what you eat: When you can’t sit down, you eat on-the-go food
  • Public benches: So few … Continue Reading

Upcoming: Food Systems Exhibit at Museum of Vancouver

Today’s post announces an exhibit and photography contest in British Columbia. Readers from other parts of the planet may find themselves inspired.

The Maple Street Community Garden in Vancouver is just one of many splashes of glorious greenery on the cityscape. Thanks to Donkeycart on Flickr for the Creative Commons photo!

This fall, the Museum of Vancouver will partner with local food non-profit FarmFolk/CityFolk to present an exhibit celebrating sustainable agriculture and local food systems. (August 26, 2010 to January 2, 2011)

Art, educational materials and public involvement opportunities will comprise programming exploring ecology, sustainable food systems and community development. The photography of Vancouver-based and internationally-recognized photographer Brian Harris will be a particular centrepiece, exploring Vancouver’s own urban agricultural scene.

While the exhibit’s opening day is … Continue Reading

Weekly News Pool: Bicycles, Social Sustainability and New York City Bees

Among recent improvements in the site layout here at PlanningPool.com, we’ve revamped the NewsPool feature. This is a continuously updated feed of noteworthy current planning stories found on the Net by PlanningPool contributors. Check it out by clicking the tab at the site’s top right!

A few this week’s stories from the NewsPool are highlighted below, for your end-of-week reading pleasure.

In the world of planning for more sustainable transportation, bicycles are getting well-deserved respect in the US and in Mexico City:

Los Angeles Times – Mexico City Bicycle Program Pedals Uphill
Mexico City’s bicycle-sharing system, Ecobici, challenges assumptions in a car-oriented culture. Its goal is to raise bikes’ mode share from 1% to 5% in the city.

CUNY Sustainable Cities – … Continue Reading

Food Policy Fail – British Columbia’s Meat Inspection Regulations (Editorial)

A mobile poultry processing unit slaughters hens on a farm in Massachusetts. Thanks to Chrisdat on Flickr for the great Creative Commons photo!

In tackling the subject of British Columbia’s meat inspection regulations, I must begin by admitting that I am not the likeliest author. For starters, I’m a vegetarian. Secondly, although someday I would love to keep urban chickens, my agricultural experience is pretty much limited to growing herbs and tomatoes on my apartment patio. However, the economic viability of BC farming affects everyone in the province who eats, including urbanites. Draconian provincial meat inspection regulations create a barrier to local economic development in BC’s small towns and rural places, and to food security throughout the province. Local food activists contend that … Continue Reading

The Cost of a Dozen Eggs

Today’s post comes to you from Toronto Chickens, the blog of an underground hen-keeper in Canada’s largest city, where urban hens are not yet legal. As (s)he notes: “Living with chickens below the radar could be stressful at times. Sadly, despite the fact that I would like to share with you my identity, I have to be chicken about it and thus the name Toronto Chicken.”
This post, originally published at Toronto Chickens, addresses the important question of whether urban hens meaningfully contribute to food affordability. Toronto Chicken argues that they do!

Toronto Chicken Eggs

Many people have asked me just how much it costs to produce a dozen organic backyard chicken eggs. Time to show off my … Continue Reading

EcoHensity (trademark pending) coming to Vancouver

Daniel Fontaine is a co-editor of CityCaucus.com and an active political commentator with a background in political science, writing and strategy. His great post about Vancouver’s proposed legislation legalizing urban chickens was published last October, but not much has changed on the policy front since then; Vancouver City Council still has yet to approve changes to the bylaws currently prohibiting backyard hens in the city. This post was originally published on CityCaucus.com, a blog that explores the ideas, the politics, and the people behind making Canadian cities. These days, the site is devoted to following Olympic activity around Vancouver.

The new Backyard Chicken Coordinator starts his post at the renovated Vancouver City Hall.

Continue Reading

Snapshot: Street Food

Snapshot_Street Food

The sights and smells of street food can be one of the great experiential pleasures of a city, and every city is different. Carts sell roasted chestnuts on London’s street corners in the wintertime, while New York’s streets bristle with hot dog carts.

Portland, Oregon, shown above, is known for its array of food carts. They seem to sell every kind of food, and some even offer folding chairs to accommodate a leisurely meal.

Meanwhile, the City of Montreal, Quebec, has banned conventional street food carts for decades. While the waffle vendor shown here does technically sell street food, since it is both purchased and consumed on the sidewalk, the food is cooked inside a building and served through a window. Locally, the lack of street food is … Continue Reading