Urban Agriculture Policy Mapping in the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area
Henry Crawford & Nicholas Rose
Food security is increasingly becoming recognised as an issue facing urban populations in developed countries like Australia. The potential for urban agriculture (UA) to enable greater food security for our cities is also being realised, as climate change induced weather variability highlights the fragility of the industrial food supply chains that feed Australia’s cities.
Recognising this potential, since the start of 2016 Sustain: The Australian Food Network has been embarking on a mapping project of existing plans, policies and strategies that relate to urban agriculture as defined by local councils within the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan area. The scope will encompass 15 to 20 councils, of which 2 to 3 will subsequently be selected for further research. With the intention to complement and build upon the policy mapping component, the councils selected for further enquiry will be those seen to have the most extensive urban agriculture policy frameworks. This will include a series of surveys and follow up interviews with the aim of generating a best practice model for urban agriculture policy formulation and implementation. The final stage of the project will see it become incorporated into a countrywide online Food Systems Directory, which Sustain is facilitating thanks to the ongoing support of the Myer Foundation.
The Directory is intended to be a dynamic, user-generated networking tool that both makes visible the growing food systems movement around Australia and provides a means for individuals and organisations to locate and connect with each other. Over the next few months, Sustain will be reaching out to individuals and organisations to invite them to create their own profiles, upload key aspects of their work, and share their affiliations. The Directory will be publicly launched in the first part of 2017.
The research will also be used as part of the 2016 Urban Agriculture Forum that is being held at the University of Melbourne‘s Burnley Campus on November 20 and 21 2016. For more information or to register for the event please go to www.uaf.org.au
The local councils mapped to date are: