Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Plan Canada - Summer 2023


Food – Where are our priorities and how do we provide?

The world is in an increasingly rapid state of transformation. With growing population, a changing climate, diminishing agricultural land, and the rising cost of food starting to rival unaffordable housing, pressures on our food systems are becoming ever more pronounced. While food is essential for everyone, it has not necessarily been considered at the forefront of traditional and modern planning. The world is calling on planners to harness opportunities to integrate food as part of planning practice. Activities and plans influencing how and where food is produced through to its processes, consumption, and disposal require careful, pragmatic solutions to solidify equitable food access for all.

The last Plan Canada issue fully dedicated to food and food security was back in Summer 2009 and a lot has changed since then. Two years ago, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems collaborated with CIP to develop a survey to get a better picture of the current state of food systems planning in Canada from the perspective of planning practitioners. The survey highlighted interest in this emerging field from planners along with key challenges to address. Planners are now becoming more aware of the complex nature of food systems planning; however, there is a need to build further knowledge, education, and training opportunities in this area to help planners better understand their roles and responsibilities.

The Summer 2023 issue of Plan Canada aims to explore the changes and initiatives that have taken place around food and planning. What planning responses and innovative strategies have communities – big or small, urban or rural – developed that address the food system? How do we consider and address food security in our practices?

We are looking for a range of articles that cover various areas, such as local food production; urban agriculture; agriburbs; community kitchens; food strategies; food policy councils; food deserts/food swamps; access to culturally-appropriate food; and links between food and land use, community economic development, and natural resources.

As planners, identifying solutions to food insecurity is much more than finding the right location for grocery stores. Solutions will require innovation and collaboration that start with bringing food systems to the front of minds throughout the profession.

Submission deadline is March 10, 2023