Planning for Food Systems: Community-University Partnerships for Food-Systems Transformation
Keywords:Community-university partnerships, Buffalo, Chautauqua, Urban planning, Regional planning
The United Nations estimates that by 2050, more than 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. In the face of continuing urbanization, how will communities meet the fundamental need for good food? What kinds of public policies, structures, and systems will ensure equitable and just access to food? We argue that urban universities have a responsibility and an extraordinary opportunity to help create equitable community food systems by amplifying community-led planning and policy to strengthen such systems. Drawing on case studies involving the University at Buffalo State University of New York system and its community partners, we describe the ways in which community-university partnerships can leverage policy change to support stronger food systems. We conclude with lessons for such partnerships: the importance of building lasting relationships for policy change, shoring up community capacity, understanding the benefits and burdens for universities and communities, and reimagining universities’ responsibilities to their regions.
Almeida, T., Bostaph, M., Engert, M., Gold, S., Leccese, J., Maisel, J., . . . Zlatev, L. (2003). Food for Growth: A Community Food System Plan for Buffalo's West Side. Buffalo, NY: Massachusetts Avenue Project and Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo.
Attard, N., Gordon, T., Jiang, D., Liesten, D., Neal, S., Rogers, D., . . . Zhuo, S. (2014). Invest in Fresh: A Plan to Promote Healthy Food Retail in Jamestown, New York. Buffalo, NY: Chautauqua County Health Network and Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo.
Barton, S., Bragg, J., Drag, E., Ganczarz, K., Kistner, J., Ludington, E., . . . Watrous, M. (2009). Queen City Gardens Plan: Planning for Community Gardens in the City of Buffalo. Buffalo, NY: Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo and University at Buffalo Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Bedore, M. (2012). Chapter 7 Food system planning in small, buzz-less cities: challenges and opportunities. In Sustainable food planning: evolving theory and practice (pp. 91-102).
Biemiller, L. (2015, November 8). Using its City as a Teaching Lab, a School Helps Rebuilt it, Too. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Using-Its-City-as-a-Teaching/234096
Bloomgarden, A. (2013). Reciprocity as Sustainability in Campus-Community Partnership. Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, 3, 129-145.
Campbell, M. C. (2004). Building a Common Table: The Role for Planning in Community Food Systems. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23, 341-355.
Clark, J. K., Kaiser, M. L., Hicks, R., Hoy, C., Rogers, C., & Spees, C. (2015). Community-University Engagement via a Boundary Object: The Case of Food Mapping in Columbus, Ohio. Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, 5, 126-142.
Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2015). Household Food Security in the United States in 2013 (Vol. ERR-173): U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
Conley, B., Falk, J., Hawes, T., Hee Jung, Y., Hyoung Kim, G., Maggiotto, T., . . . Wright, T. (2011). Room at the Table: Food System Assessment of Erie County. Buffalo, NY: University at Buffalo Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Delgado, C., Norton, T., & Raja, S. (2013). Indicators for a Healthy Food and Built Environment in the City of Buffalo. Retrieved from Buffalo, NY:
Drucker, J., & Goldstein, H. (2007). Assessing the regional economic development impacts of universities: a review of current approaches. International Regional Science Review, 30(1), 20-46.
FAO, IFAD, & WFP. (2015). The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015. Retrieved from Rome, Italy:
Flyvberg, B. (2001). Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How it Can Succeed Again: Cambridge University Press.
Frank, A. I. (2006). Three Decades of Thought on Planning Education. Journal of Planning Literature, 21(1).
Gertler, M. S. (2010). Rules of the Game: The Place of Institutions in Regional Economic Change. Regional Studies, 44(1), 1-15.
Greenstein, R., Jacobson, A., Coulson, M., & Morales, A. (2015). Innovations in the Pedagogy of Food System Planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 1-12.
Greenwood, D. J., & Levin, M. (2007). Introduction to action research : social research for social change (2nd ed. ed.). Thousand Oaks Calif. :: Sage Publications.
Hammer, J. (2004). Community Food Systems and Planning Curricula. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23(424).
Holland, B. A., & Gelmon, S. B. (1998). The State of the "Engaged Campus": What have we learned about building and sustaining university-community partnerships? Aahe Bulletin, 51(2), 3-6.
Kecskes, K., & Foster, K. M. (2013). Three Questions for Community Engagement at the Crossroads. Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, 3, 7-17.
Kloppenburg, J. J., Hendrickson, J., & Stevenson, G. W. (1996). Coming into the foodshed. Agriculture and Human Values, 13(3), 33-42.
Mendes, W., Joe Nasr, J., Beatley, T., Born, B., Bouris, K., Campbell, M. C., . . . Wekerle, G. (2011). Preparing Future Food System Planning Professionals and Scholars: Reflections on Teaching Experiences. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(1), 15-52. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2011.021.022
Mendes, W., & Nasr, J. (2011). Preparing future food systems planning professionals and scholars: Reflections on teaching experiences. Journal of Agiculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(1), 15-52.
Neuner, K., Gooch, P., & Raja, S. (2012). Buffalo's Food System: An assessment of current municipal, county, and state policies that regulate Buffalo’s food system. Retrieved from http://foodsystemsplanning.ap.buffalo.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/HKHCpolicybrieflocalBuffalo_FINAL2_27_2012_4.pdf
Neuner, K., Hall, J., & Raja, S. (2012). Children’s Health: A Growing Need to Incorporate Physical Activity into the Daily Lives of Youth. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7V7R4q3nicSQ2RaWTRCU3lVVTQ/view
Neuner, K., Kelly, S., & Raja, S. (2011). Planning to Eat: Innovative Local Government Plans and Policies to Build Healthy Food Systems in the United States. Retrieved from http://foodsystemsplanning.ap.buffalo.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/planningtoeat5.pdf
Neuner, K., & Raja, S. (2010a). Healthy Eating and Active Living: For Children in the City of Buffalo. Retrieved from http://foodsystemsplanning.ap.buffalo.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/HKHC-Policy-Brief-1_whyhealthyliving.pdf
Neuner, K., & Raja, S. (2010b). Strengthening Buffalo's Food System: To Promote Healthy Eating Among Children. Retrieved from http://foodsystemsplanning.ap.buffalo.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/HKHC-Policy-Brief-2_thefoodsystem.pdf
Niewolny, K. L., Grossman, J. M., Byker, C. J., Helms, J. L., Clark, S. F., Cotton, J. A., & Jacobsen, K. L. (2012). Sustainable Agriculture Education and Civic Engagement: The Significance of Community-University Partnerships in the New Agricultural Paradigm. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(3), 27–42. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.023.005
Pothukuchi, K. (2012). Building Sustainable Food Systems in a Single Bottom-Line Context: Lessons from SEED Wayne, Wayne State University Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(3), 103-119. http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.023.011
Pothukuchi, K., & Molnar, S. A. (2014). Sustainable Food Systems at Urban Public Universities: A Survey of U-21 Universities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 37(3), 341-359.
Raj, S., Raja, S., & Dukes, B. A. (2016). Beneficial but Constrained: Role of Urban Agriculture Programs in Supporting Healthy Eating Among Youth. Journal of Hunger and Envrionmental Nutrition.
Raja, S., Born, B., & Kozlowski Russell, J. (2008). A Planner's Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning: Transforming Food Environments, Building Healthy Communities. Chicago, IL: American Planning Association.
Raja, S., Breinlich, A., & Kallas, A. (2010). Partnerships to Promote Healthy Eating in School Environments: Lessons from Buffalo, New York. Children, Youth, and Environments, 20(2), 175-189.
Raja, S., & Diao, C. (2016). A Community-Led View of Urban Agriculture Policy Making. Urban Agriculture Magazine, 31.
Raja, S., Hall, J., Norton, T., Gooch, P., Raj, S., Hawes, T., & Whittaker, J. (2014). Growing Together: Ensuring Healthy Food, Viable Farms, and a Properous Buffalo Niagara. Buffalo, NY: Food Systems Planning Healthy Communities Lab.
Raja, S., Hoekstra, F., Delgado, C., & Veenhuizen, R. (2016). Community Involvement in Urban Planning and Policy Development to Strengthen Urban Food Systems, Editorial. Urban Agriculture Magazine(Special Issue on Inclusive Use of Urban Space).
Raja, S., Picard, D., Baek, S., & Delgado, C. (2014). Rustbelt Radicalism: A Decade of Food Systems Planning in Buffalo, New York. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(4), 173-189.
Raja, S., Raj, S., & Roberts, B. (Forthcoming). The US Experience in Planning for Community Food Systems: An Era of Advocacy, Awareness, and (Some) Learning. In A. Blay-Palmer, I. Knezevic, C. Levkoe, P. Mount, & E. Nelson (Eds.), Nourishing Communities: Sustainable food system transformation through theory, practice and policy: University of Toronto Press.
Raja, S., & Whittaker, J. (Forthcoming). Community Food Infrastructure: A Vital Consideration for Planning Healthy Communities. In T. Beatley, R. Rainey, & C. Jones (Eds.), Healthy Environments, Healing Spaces: Current Practice and Future Directions in Health and Design. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.
Raja, S., Whittaker, J., Hall, E., Hodgson, K., Khojasteh, M., & Leccese, J. (In Press). Growing Food Connections through Urban Planning: Lessons from the United States Integrating Food into Urban Planning: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Reardon, K. M. (2000). An Experiential Approach to Creating an Effective Community-University Partnership: The East St. Louis Action Research Project. Cityscape, 5(1), 59-74.
Schon, D. (1984). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action: Basic Books.
Scott, J. C. (1998). Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed. Yale University Press: New Haven.
Siemiatycki, M. (2012). The Role of the Planning Scholar. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32(2), 147-159. doi:10.1177/0739456X12440729
The State University of New York. The State University New York Fast Facts. Retrieved from http://www.suny.edu/about/fast-facts/
University at Buffalo Regional Institute. (2007). The Difference a University Makes: An Impact Analysis of the University at Buffalo. Buffalo, NY: School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo.
University at Buffalo The State University of New York. Timeline of UB History. University at Buffalo Archives. Retrieved from http://library.buffalo.edu/archives/ubhistory/timeline.php
University at Buffalo The State University of New York. University at Buffalo Academics. Retrieved from https://www.buffalo.edu/academics.html
University at Buffalo The State University of New York. (2015). UB Launches Communities of Excellence. Retrieved from http://www.buffalo.edu/provost/signature-initiatives/communities-of-excellence.html
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Whitmer, A., Ogden, L., Lawton, J., Sturner, P., Groffman, P. M., Schneider, L., . . . Killilea, M. (2010). The Engaged University: Providing a Platform for Research that Transforms Society. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(6), 314-321.
Whittaker, J., & Raja, S. (2015). How Food Policy Emerges: Research Suggests Community-Led Practice Shapes Policy. In S. Raja (Ed.), Translating Research for Policy Series: Growing Food Connections, University at Buffalo.
Whittaker, J., & Raja, S. (2016). Bridging Divides: Opportunities for Connecting Farmers and Underserved Consumers in Chautauqua County, New York. In S. Raja (Ed.), Exploring Stories of Opportunity. Buffalo, New York: Growing Food Connections, University at Buffalo.
Copyright to works published in Metropolitan Universities is retained by the author(s).