Holland & de la Salle Tell It Like It Is: “town planning turned its back on food”

Our old friend Mark Holland (coolest radio voice ever) and his colleague Janine de la Salle have published a terrific article entitled Food For Thought in today’s West Coast News section of The Vancouver Sun. In it, they argue that “town planning turned its back on food,” with urban development nearly eliminating agriculture from our cities and backyards. So true!

Remember when your parents used to pull carrots and potatoes from the backyard or went blueberry picking at the farm down the road? I do. Not very common anymore. And hard to do in urban living these days. As a result, food—a cornerstone of our health—has suffered. And Holland and de la Salle argue that it’s not just about greenspace or agriculture, but food itself, which is a critical part of a city’s culture, contributing to its tourism and local economy. Go Mark and Janine! You tell ’em!

Their argument is smartly presented and concludes with a terrific six-dimensional strategy proposal, including a call to arms for local and provincial governments to shift their focus away from agriculture to food, and farmers to transition away from old methods and ways of thinking. They also encourage developers to include places to grow, procure and enjoy food, and encourages academia to update their teaching to include food as an important part of both city planning and agricultural education. They end with a stern warning to all citizens of B.C. “to embrace local food.” Amen to that. Let’s eat.

Click here for Holand and de la Salle’s complete article in The Vancouver Sun.


2 Responses to “Holland & de la Salle Tell It Like It Is: “town planning turned its back on food””

  1. Posted on February 10th, 2009

    I think we need to be careful of (and concerned for) the animals that share our urban spaces.

    Squirrels, raccoons, coyotes, and various kinds of birds all live within our cities. As we begin to transform lawns, boulevards, etc into gardens we should be cautious that we’ll be attracting animals who may want to eat some of this food.

    Finding a way to grow food without terrorizing and killing the non-human residents of our cities will be a real challenge. I hope that we don’t simply decide do destroy any non-human life just for the sake of some tomatoes.

  2. Posted on February 13th, 2009

    Not something I normally attend, but to celebrate the more digestive side of our past, this year’s Vancouver Heritage House Tour on June 7th “will not only include fascinating houses but will also investigate Vancouver’s culinary sites, customs and history.”

    Historically, many of Vancouver’s homes had vegetable gardens, pantries, outdoor food storage and wine & root cellars. Local orchards, farms, grocery markets and homemade goods were present in almost every neighbourhood.

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