Rooted: overcoming complacency in planning for greater food security in Australian cities
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Established notions of food security focus on the availability, accessibility and affordability of food with much policy attention given to chronic and acute food shortages in developing countries. Closer to home, according to the Australian government's National Food Plan Green Paper we have a 'strong, safe and reliable food system with a high level of food security'. While we recognise that some Australians experience substantial problems in accessing affordable fresh food, there is little acknowledgement of the significance of systemic threats to the security of food supplies to Australia's cities that affect the majority of our urban residents. These threats are to increasingly long and complex supply lines as well as to the places and techniques of food production. Moreover, a rich legacy of suburban and peri-urban food production is in danger of being overlooked in national policy debates preoccupied with plant technologies and with potential Asian markets for a limited range of Australiangrown foods, including beef, wheat and dairy products. However, as part of new plans to build greater urban resilience, local food security policies are emerging in some towns and cities. This paper reviews these processes of local food policy development in Australia, compares them with prominent examples from other similar countries and explores the barriers to further policy development and effective implementation. It draws on recently completed research on urban food security and climate change supported by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.
State of Australian Cities Conference
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Land Use and Environmental Planning