Dr. Samina Raja, professor of urban and regional planning, and her team co-authored the chapter "Growing Food Connections through Planning: Lessons from the United States" in a collaborative project with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and University College London Press. The book "Integrating Food into Urban Planning," is a terrific resource on the state of food systems planning across the globe.
Food systems will play a central role in delivering the sustainable development agenda.
With the majority of people already living in urban areas – not only in large metropolitan areas, but also in secondary cities and small towns – a greater focus on urban planning as a way of influencing food systems development will be critically important.
Until recently, urban planners have paid little attention to food systems, emphasising ‘traditional’ urban priorities such as public transportation and decent housing. However, since the beginning of the current millennium, major national associations of urban planners have started to notice this scarce attention to food, which, ironically, was the magnet for creative city planning just a couple of centuries ago. National governments across the globe have now acknowledged, through the New Urban Agenda, the importance of local governments in achieving the 2030 Agenda, with food and good nutrition being a core element. Local governments, often with limited resources, have started to promote food system planning as an important entry point to ensuring improved well-being through availability of and access to proper nutrition for all city dwellers.