For our community food system, our city council lays the foundation for the type of development that happens in our city. So if our local food system isn’t performing equitably, it’s because key documents, like our City Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance, aren’t driving the food-oriented development our community needs in the way we need it.
Some examples of how this has worked:
Our city council works with our city manager to guide what our city departments do. In the past, many organizations have tried to work directly with departments like Parks& Rec, to set aside land for urban agriculture. However, without the direction of city council we were ineffective in getting the parks department to listen to our needs. With the city councils food equity initiative, we’ve been able to build out our influence and collaboration with Parks & Rec Planners in order to protect and preserve urban agriculture in our city.
Housing developers that are creating affordable housing are now considering interventions for affordable food markets and community gardens in their housing developments and collaborating with charlottesville food justice network organizations to envision that with residents.
So by our City Council making a commitment it’s had a ripple affect across our entire community.