City of Port Phillip Urban Agriculture Policy Snapshot
Background and Overview
Port Phillip does not currently have a comprehensive urban agriculture strategy but has a series of other documents and resources relating to urban forests, nature strips and community gardens. The Council website provides resources and information relating to food security under the Community Health and Wellbeing tab, recognising the importance of food security as a key determiner for a healthy life. Links and resources are available to some of the actions Port Phillip engages in to address and prevent food insecurity concerns, that include the ‘Free and Cheap Meals Guide’, links to community garden resources, the ‘Sustainability Community Action Network’ (SCAN), the ‘Delivered Meals Service’, and the ‘Healthy Eating on a Budget Toolkit’. (2016, Port Phillip).
- While community gardens are seen as an important component in addressing food insecurity, Port Phillip recognises many other benefits that includes;
- Physical exercise and vitamin D
- Social interaction and skill development
- Creating less carbon emissions and reducing organic waste
- Connecting with nature
- Learning about the seasons and food production cycles
- Saving money by growing your own food
(2016a, Port Phillip)
Without a comprehensive community gardens strategy, Council acts primarily as a facilitator to communicate these benefits and promote involve. The community gardens link on the Councils website provides a useful map that identifies the gardens around Port Phillip, and then subsequently on a suburb-by-suburb basis. Involvement is promoted through Port Philip’s Small Poppy Neighbourhood Grant and resources on how to get your soil tested before establishing a garden.
Port Phillip also has a soil remediation project, where it is current testing soil for potential contaminants at three community gardens in the area (Dig In, Veg Out, & Railway Place Garden).
The Council website provides links to community groups in the area that do work related to urban agriculture, environmental protection and social welfare (Friends of Port Melbourne Foreshaw, Earthcare St Kilda, Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens, & Friends of Westgate Park). (2016a, 2016b, Port Phillip). In addition, the Port Phillip Ecocentre has been facilitating the Port Philip Urban Fresh Food Network (PPUFFN) for the last six years, with recent activities including involvement in developing the Urban Food Charter, installing raised garden beds in social housing settings and engaging social housing tenants in food gardens.
Review of Policies, Plans and Procedures Addressing Urban Agriculture and Related Areas
|Name of Document||Reference to Urban Agriculture and Related Areas|
|Greening Port Phillip – An Urban Forest Approach (2010)||A comprehensive document that outlines Council’s vision and strategy for a ‘greener’ Port Phillip. No direct mention of urban agriculture, but indirectly through defining ‘urban forests’ as encompassing front and back gardens, balcony gardens, rooftop gardens and green roofs, vertical gardens, street trees/shrubs/nature strips, and all trees and gardens in public, private and other open spaces (reference). While there is no specific mention of urban agriculture, the resilience of urban forests to climactic pressures is emphasized throughout the document, a characteristic transferable to food forests and an area that is received increasing attention in the context of global environmental change. Many of the social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits of urban forests outlined in the document are also applicable to food forests. Strong links are made to the Community Plan (2007-2017) Council Plan (particularly relating to liveability, adaptation and sustaining goals) (Council Plan Goal 2, Strategy 2.1) (Council Plan Goal 4, Strategies 4.1 – 4.4), Climate Adaptation Plan, The Water Plan (2010), Open Space Water Management Plan (2010), Open Space Strategy (2009), Street Tree Planting Guide (2010).
(2010, Port Phillip)
|Nature Strip Guidelines (2010)||A two-page document outlining a best practices approach (including checklist) to nature strip installation and maintenance. References to urban agriculture through the ‘Garden Beds on Nature Strips’ link, which provides ‘handy tips for planting a garden bed’ on nature strips, in the form of the Garden Bed Fact Sheet (2010). Additional links to related resources including the ‘Recommended Plant Species List’ and ‘Establishing a Lawn by Seedling & Instant Turf’ resource.
(2010, 2010a, 2013, Port Phillip)
Review of Existing or Developing Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Strategies
|Snapshot & Summary|
|Strategy / Framework / NA||NA|
|Does the Strategy or Framework integrate existing policy documents that explicitly address or make reference to urban agriculture and related area?||NA|
|Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to the Council Plan and appear to be integrated into the achievement of the Plan’s major objectives?||NA|
|Does the Strategy or Framework make reference to and integrate the objectives of The Municipal Health and Wellbeing Act (2008) into its framework?||NA|
|Does the Strategy or Framework recognise and address the ecological, economic, environmental, social welfare, cultural, and social benefits of urban agriculture and local food systems?||NA|
|Does the Strategy or Framework recognise the interconnectedness of urban food systems (from production, processing, distribution, access, consumption, nutrient/waste capturing, and recycling)?||NA|
|Does the Strategy or Framework have an action or implementation plan, a set of indicators, or feedback mechanisms that will allow it to evaluate its development, achievements, successes, obstacles, barriers and lessons.||NA|
|Is there an educational component of the Strategy or Framework?||NA|
|Is the Strategy being overseen by a dedicated Food Policy Liaison Officer?||NA|
- 2010, Port Phillip, Greening Port Philip – An Urban Forest Approach, Available from: http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/default/OpenSpaceDocuments/Greening_port_Phillip_-_an_urban_forest_approach.pdf
- 2010a, Port Phillip, Nature Strips, Available From:http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/nature_strips.htm
- 2010b, Port Phillip, Garden Bed Fact Sheet, Available From: http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/GARDENBEDFACTSHEET2.pdf%20-
- 2013, Port Phillip, Nature Strip Guidelines, Available From: http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/City_of_Port_Phillip_Natures_Strip_Guidelines.pdf
- 2016, Port Phillip, Food Security, Available From:http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/food-security.htm%20/
- 2016a, Port Phillip, Community Gardens, Available From; http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/gardens.htm
- 2016b, Port Phillip, Local Community Groups, Available From; http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/community_gardens.htm