The overlapping trends of population growth, rezoning of agricultural land and fresh food price increases will be a national crises by 2050 unless comprehensive action is taken today.
Our challenge is increasing local agricultural productivity efficiently and without further compromising the natural environment or encouraging sprawl. By designing communities with the capacity to produce fresh food we are future- proofing the community from a reliance on external food sources and the insecurity associated with that.
The inherent ability for communities to contribute to fresh food production will counteract not only the rising cost of food as a consequence of fuel or freight, but will also contribute to healthier people and reduced medical costs. Our efforts over the past decade to create new, compact, sustainable development on the fringe has robbed the Australian farmer of his workplace.
Historically, food production has been limited to rural agricultural lands. Alternatively, this presentation will explore how the low-tech, original green solution of designing food producing neighbourhoods must be part of the solution. This productive overlay can be applied at varying levels; from urban agriculture where cities are retrofitted to grow food, through to agrarian urbanism where an entire society is dedicated to growing food.
We can no longer afford to develop under the guise of smart growth while depleting our most valuable natural resource- agricultural land. Understanding the various models for neighbourhood food production contributes to a community’s resilience toward the effects of climate change, issues of food security and affordability, depleting land supply and health on a physical and social scale.
Ms Angela Koepp, Senior Urban Designer, Roberts Day – a poster presentation at the International Urban Design Conference 2011