Edmonton's Food Strategy - Jonathon McNeice

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Transcript of Edmonton's Food Strategy - Jonathon McNeice

  1. 1. Jonathan McNeice Urban Planner
  2. 2. Food Strategy Amidst Development Pressures
  3. 3. Overview 1. What triggered a strategy? 2. Land use planning within food strategy 3. Dealing with the urban/rural divide 4. Collaboration between diverse stakeholders, providing value and managing tension 5. Lessons learned
  4. 4. Background
  5. 5. Photo B9021 appears courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Alberta "Vegetables from Donald Ross's Vegetable Garden Edmonton (1902)
  6. 6. City Information: Edmonton Capital of Alberta - Most northerly metropolitan region in Canada Gateway to the North One of Canadas fastest growing municipalities Located on some of the best ag soils in Canada, highest concentration of Class 1 soils in AB Yet has the second largest ecological footprint in Canada - a city of contrasts A sprawling metropolis where auto largely determines the structure of the city.
  7. 7. City Information: Edmonton Size and population development City/Metro(Region) 1990: 831,000; 2011: 1,142,000; 2025: 1,427,000 Main functions known as the "festival city"; cultural and educational center Main industries / business oil and gas industries (important reserves) Political structure Mayor and City Council Administrative structure 7 sectors divided up into 375 neighbourhoods
  8. 8. Lead up to a Strategy - Growth Alberta has 1/3 Canadas farmland, 19% of Class 1 AG land Increasing loss of prime farmland (Demographics & Econ growth) 11% population growth, 83% urban 2006 2011: farms declined 12.4%, 650k ha lost (most Class 1 near urban centers) Why? Land speculation, fragmentation of farmland, encroachment, land prices increase beyond AG production value, retirement age
  9. 9. Lead up to a Strategy Land Use Mid 90s Land Use Planning downloaded from Province to Muni/Region AB Muni Gov Act abolished Regional Planning Councils, transfer AG land protection to Muni Provincial Land Use Policies developed and encouraged, but not mandatory In contrast, ON/BC/QC have provincially legislated delineation of AG zones and urban growth boundaries
  10. 10. Lead up to a Strategy - GEA Greater Edmonton Alliance broad based citizens organization based on social activist Saul Alinsky (churches, unions, community organizations) Has success in land use issue of affordable housing, wanted to take on local food next Brought out 500+ people to Council
  11. 11. Great Potato Giveaway 15,000 citizens, 100,000 lbs of potatoes Local and national news attention about local food, protecting and integrating farmland into urban development
  12. 12. Great Potato Giveaway Hundreds of cars line up for The Great Potato Giveaway on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Photograph by: Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal
  13. 13. People haul away bags of potatoes from the Great Potato Give Away at Norbest Farms, North East of Edmonton on September 26, 2009. Thousands of people lined up for hours to pick over 100,000 pounds of potatoes that were given away to create awareness of agricultural land close to the city. Photograph by: Ryan Jackson, Edmonton Journal
  14. 14. Lead up to a Strategy MDP review Translates to Official Plan in Ontarian Legislated 10 year review, began in 2006, Called The Ways Civic activism (GEA) raised growth concerns, took 4 years to complete Mayor Steven Mandel (former developer) GEA Local Food Team polled members on draft MDP, 2 concerns: food security & preservation of prime AG lands within city boundaries. Reached out through social media, kitchen and neighborhood meetings, raised public awareness and mobilized 600 Edmontonians to attend MDP hearings.
  15. 15. MDP 2009 - Council Historically, Council viewed food issues as beyond their mandate Tabled the draft, requested staff to report back on comparable muni food and farmland policy initiatives. GEA continued educating and mobilizing, pledges from 700 families to shift 40% of the current food $ to local Second public hearing June 2009 500 citizens GEA policy paper The Way We Eat recommending amendments to the MDP to support UA and preservation of remaining AG lands, council tabled for consideration
  16. 16. Approval of MDP May 2010 approved MDP that mandated the development of a Citywide Food and Agriculture Strategy and require that future ASPs be designed in adherence with this strategy Attempted to link Land Use Planning and a Food and AG Strategy
  17. 17. Impacts of activism Significant amendments to MDP Proposed residential and industrial developments in NE AG lands (Horse Hills ASP) put on hold (plan development continued concurrently) to enable the development of Fresh: Edmontons Food and Urban Ag Strategy. Pressure is on!
  18. 18. Citys Municipal Development Plan which proposes a range of possible actions the City could take as it develops the strategy, including: supporting the establishment of a food policy council; working with the community to create a local food charter; working with the region to develop a regional food policy council and food charter; collaborating with communities, landowners and other organizations to identify potential areas and lands for urban agricultural activities; establishing guidelines for integrating urban agriculture into public and private spaces and developments.
  19. 19. Mayor
  20. 20. More concerned about..
  21. 21. Than
  22. 22. 3. Dealing with the urban/rural divide Several distinct groups appeared in NE: GEA concerned about local food, no skin in the game NEAP AG producers in the area NEEA small non farm land owners, taxes increased since annexation, want more services and property tax increase Walton predominate land owner, wanted to upzone and sell for shareholders
  23. 23. 3. Dealing with the urban/rural divide Historically AG viewed as a holding zone until res/comm/industrial comes along Assumption that you needed skin in the game to participate, not public good People vs. Ownership Agreement on principals and goals, not hard targets and commitments Agreement on everything else, but land
  24. 24. Fresh approval November 2012, 5 goals and 9 strategic directions as basis for action. 4 out of 5 committee members approved (5th wanted more cost analysis of options for ag lands, more concrete recommendations and targets) Council asked Admin to prepare and implementation and budget for Strategy Approved continuing funding of $150k annually 1 FTE to establish and support a food council.
  25. 25. 2. Land use planning within food strategy One of the first attempts a in food strategy Significant public support for it, few tools available at muni level Must have political support, developer tolerance and implementation mechanisms ASPs are a developer lead process (not City) 200ha saved in Horse Hills ASP vs. 600ha Having some success with Urban AG zoning
  26. 26. 4. Collaboration between diverse stakeholders, providing value and managing tension Look for win/win situations (i.e. Agrihoods) Dont neglect the whole food system when discussing land use Build the business case and Cost Benefit Analysis It takes time to build relationships Consultation vs. democracy
  27. 27. 5. Lessons Learned Short term vs. Long term costs/benefit Be conscious of the servicing that is happening to the lands Be very conscious of your political climate Dont rush, many thought 13 months was too quick Vancouver/Toronto took years Have your land use tools/mechanisms ready
  28. 28. Food Policy Council Created
  29. 29. Jonathan McNeice [email protected] 905-315-0417