Project Profile: Fresh- City of Edmonton Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy

In 2012, the City of Edmonton initiated and completed a process to develop a comprehensive food system plan for the city.  Unlike any other food system strategy that has been developed in North America, the Edmonton plan was directly linked to growth management and new development planning that was occurring in the City.  In addition, the plan looks at opportunities in all areas of the City and has five goal areas spanning economy and health to placemaking and environment.  As a result of extensive public and stakeholder consultation, technical analysis, and leScreen Shot 2013-09-12 at 5.57.37 PMading-edge policy development, the City now has one of North

Americas leading food system strategies.

HB Lanarc Consultants, represented by Janine de la Salle and Rob Barrs, were the lead consultants working with the City on developing Fresh.  The team developed background material and analysis, facilitated stakeholder discussions, and developed draft goals and policies.

Congratulations to the City of Edmonton for taking the road less travelled and providing a leadership example of what Canadian Cities can accomplish towards sustainable urban food systems.

Service Area Overview

Forming multi-disciplinary teams, Urban Food Strategies works with universities, local governments, developers and non-profit groups to:

  • Develop food and agriculture system strategies and policies,
  • Facilitate community lead design process,
  • Create guidebooks and tools for local governments,
  • Design farm parks,
  • Conduct food hub feasibility and pre-development planning,
  • Assess the local food economy and
  • Integrate food and farming into new neighbourhoods.

Please click-through services to learn more about each of these areas.

New Publication: Integrating Urban Agriculture

Urban Food Strategies is thrilled to announce the publication of Integrated Urban Agriculture (2016). Edited by Robert L. France. Libri Publishing, Oxfordshire, This book includes chapters from seventeen of North America’s preeminent authors and scholars on urban agriculture and urban food systems.

Comment from an anonymous, expert reviewer of the MS draft: This is an exciting interdisciplinary approach by a well-coordinated, closely working team. The book is accessible, well written, free of jargon, and full of pictures, graphics and charts. In all fairness, this is one of the most exciting and innovative books on urban agriculture I have seen in recent years. It combines original papers and commentary/reflections to them which make it a perfect candidate for class discussions. This volume is as much about imagining urban and urbanism as urban agriculture. In this sense people in social sciences, urban studies, environmental studies, architecture and urban planning will find this book very useful. This is an exceptional international, interdisciplinary, expert dream team. Many of these authors have already been recognized as key contributors to this literature. However, the way the book is designed — as a conversation among a group of scholars, thinkers, authors — allows fresh new insights and adds vibrancy to this volume. It is not a simple how to do UA book. It is a thoughtful book about re-imagining urban living, urban livelihoods, urban culture through urban agriculture. This is a fun book. If I would keep a few books on urban agriculture in my personal library this is definitely one of them. It is the outcome of a workshop and went through many edits and commentaries. It is ready to go. I would consider this as a key contribution to urban agriculture, urban design, planning and agricultural urbanism.

Hot off the Press: Social Innovation in Food Banks Report Now Available

After decades of front line, emergency food distribution, food banks are increasingly taking a critical look at their work. As chronic and persistent food insecurity continues to increase, many food banks are now looking to different, longer-term strategies which better focus on serving the long-term health, social justice and resilience of the individuals and communities they serve.title-page-only

To better understand the landscape of this work, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank contracted Urban Food Strategies to convene other food banks undertaking similar shifts in an exploratory research project. The report, ‘Social Innovation in Food Banks: An Environmental Scan of Social Innovation in Canadian and US Food Banks’includes candid interviews with 18 food organizations from across North America on their work, and presents a continuum of socially innovative practices in the sector.

We hope this report will help to continue to grow the food bank community of practice by supporting knowledge sharing and collective action.

This report will be the subject of a panel at Food Secure Canada’s ‘Resetting the Table’ conference in Toronto, ON, from October 13th – 16th, 2016.

To access the report, please click here

Urban Food Strategies Associates

Ione Smith, MSc | PAg Owner/Director | Upland Agricultural Consulting Ltd

Upland Agricultural Consulting Ltd was established in 2010. Based on the Sunshine Coast in Sechelt, BC, they employ Professional Agrologists and work collaboratively with Planners, Landscape Architects, Engineers, graphic facilitators, and community engagement specialists strategically located around BC, Canada, and abroad. Now in their  7th year of service, they have successfully completed over 30 projects.upland

Ione is the Director of Upland Agricultural Consulting Ltd. She is a Professional Agrologist with a background in community engagement, agricultural planning, and land resource science. Ione brings fourteen years of extensive experience in planning for the implementation of actionable recommendations and policies that will improve farm viability and food security through strategic public planning and social marketing processes. She is a skilled facilitator, published author and prolific keynote speaker on the topic of local government tools and strategies for Upland Agricultural Consulting enhancing local food production through effective community planning. Ione has delivered presentations and workshops to dozens of communities and conferences across Canada.

Darren Stott, Principal Consultant | Green Chain Consulting

Darren Stott has 20 years of experience in the food retail industry. This includes a management role for one of UK’s lagreenchain-logorgest Co-op retailers and retail analytics consulting for blue chip retailers and manufacturers such as Safeway, P&G and Unilever also in the UK. Darren served as Director of Purchasing for the largest online organic home delivery company in North America, SPUD, for 7 years.

In 2010 Darren started Greenchain Consulting, to use his food retail Blue Chip experience, to support BC local food initiatives through business development and planning. Recent and relevant projects include Vancouver Local Food Hub, Victoria Downtown Public Market, local food procurement in local school districts, local food purchasing and distribution for not for profit food kitchens and business planning for numerous local food businesses. Darren is also passionate about the importance of food literacy and is a long time volunteer with Growing Chefs.

Jamie Unwin, MA

Jamie Unwin is an environmental and food systems planner, Jamie bio pic2researcher, policy analyst, network builder, and planning advocate with a knack for social media. She holds a Masters in Environmental Studies and Planning for Resilient Regional Food Security from York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, a postgraduate Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson’s Center for Studies in Food Security, and a BA from the University of Washington in geography and environmental science. Originally from Vancouver Jamie now resides in Toronto where she works as an associate for Urban Food strategies and is the part time Executive Coordinator for the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU). After completing her term as a Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) Board Member and CIP’s national Student Representative, Jamie is now chairing the Council for Canadian Urbanism’s Committee for Young Urbanists.


Kamloops Market Feasibility Study Launch

On April 13, 2016 our project team lead by Greenchain Consulting and including Sustainability Ventures, Urban Food Strategies, and TRU Consulting, publically launched a feasibility study for a food market in downtown Kamloops.  This project was convened by Community Futures Thompson County, Farm 2 Chef,  The Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition and the Kamloops Regional Farmers Market.

The recommended market moKamloops Market Conceptual Layout Final Apr 7-16del included permanent and temporary food vendors, cafe, brew pub, production/incubation kitchen, teaching and learning space, and outdoor market space. The project team used best practice research and input from stakeholders to develop a concept and high-level business plan that tested the initial feasibility of a food market.  Under a set of conditions, it was found that the market is indeed feasible and met all but one of the feasibility criteria.

For more information on this initiative and to access the report please visit Community Futures Thompson County

Drawings and illustrations shown here have been produced by Anne Marie Whittaker at Modus Planning and Design with direction from Janine de la Salle at Urban Food Strategies.

NEW- Community Food Systems Course 2016


Food isn’t just about what we eat. Eating is only one part of a vast and highly complex global system that grows, processes, packages, markets, and ultimately discards food. Regrettably, today’s industrial food system is failing not only our communities, but also our environment and our bodies. But there is an alternative recipe for food systems—a sustainable one—that promises to bring food and agriculture back into our communities so that they’re more vibrant, vital, and healthy for everyone. Drawing from leading literature and best practices from across North America, this course will explore the many dimensions of mobilizing community food systems including: food politics, food and farming in BC, urban agriculture and farming, regional food economies, food hubs, healthy built environments, food in design, public policy and food systems, food recovery and waste, transitions in food banking and the charitable food sector, food justice, food democracy and the right to food, food culture, and indigenous food systems.

SCD 410 E100, Summer 2016

May 9th to June 20th (Intersession)

Tuesdays and Thursday 5:30-9:20pm

Harbour Centre 2205, 515 West Hastings Street

Questions? Contact

Mobile Fresh Markets: Social Innovation in Food Access

Mobile fresh markets (MFM) are an emerging social innovation for increasing access to healthy food.  While mobile markets are clearly not a new invention per se, using MFMs as a strategy for increasing food access in low income, food insecure areas is a new approach.  MFMs have been increasing in popularity in the US for the past five years and are beginning to make an appearance in Canadian Cities.  Follow the file link below to download a 2 pager that summarizes what MFMs  are, how they operate, and strategies for developing financial break-even models.

Financial Snapshot of Mobile Fresh Markets in North America

Also, very exciting, there is currently a job posting for a mobile market operator in Vancouver BC: The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society is seeking a Curbside Fresh Market Operator to join our team for a seasonal, contract position. The ideal candidate is an outgoing, food savvy individual that is interested in helping increase access to healthy food in key areas throughout Vancouver. The Curbside Fresh Market Operator is an energetic, people person, comfortable in liaising with a broad range of populations and a passion for making a difference in the community.

Full job posting at:





TOP 10 Food System Strategies

Nothing Beets Healthy Communities.  Here is the Urban Food Strategies Top 10 list for healthy communities and prosperous regional food systems. 

  1. Bring healthy food closer to home: Many people in BC and Canada rely on emergency food sources on a regular basis, nearly one third of them being children.  By bringing food closer to home through a range of approaches from community kitchens and gardens to mobile fresh markets and walkable communities with affordable green grocers, healthy food becomes more accessible to a wider range of people.
  2. Design and build healthy environments:  Increasingly, evidence-based research is drawing linkages between food systems, the built environment and population health. Through integration of food system elements into the planning and design of our towns and cities, communities are able to achieve a wider range of physical, mental, and spiritual (or social) health benefits. Creating better access to fresh food sources begins with intentional design and programming of the built environment, enabling creation of space for food markets and celebrations, reserving lands for local food processing and distribution infrastructure, animating spaces and creating beauty in social housing, parks, and open spaces, and educating and training around food skills, all begin with the intentional design and programing of the built environment.
  3. Reskill communities in personal and professional food knowledge:  The knowledge and skill to prepare healthy food has eroded as the processed food industry has replaced the need to know how to work with raw ingredients.  As a result, children are growing up without knowing what raw vegetables look like or how they grow, not to mention being able to purchase and prepare healthy meals after they leave home. Through providing multiple opportunities to develop personal and professional food skills, people and businesses are better equipped to have a healthy diet.
  4. Safeguard food productive places: The areas and ecosystems that form foundation for all the food we eat is under increasing development pressure from cities and industrial uses, among others. The lands, forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans that sustain the global food system need to not only be protected but also restored to ensure a source of community health and economic prosperity into the future.
  5. Encourage urban agriculture and farming: The practice of growing food in and near towns and cities for community, personal, or commercial purposes has experienced a renaissance in 21st century North America and is a cornerstone of sustainable food system.  While urban agriculture and farming will never replace the need for rural agriculture, the aim is not simply to generate kilocalories per square foot, but to provide a learning ground for the next generation of gardeners and even farmers.  Urban agriculture not only brings fresh food closer to home but it also creates: social places where neighbours meet; education places where people can learn gardening and farming skills; and even small business opportunities for urban farmers. Because of these benefits, urban agriculture is widely recognized as a key strategy for healthy communities.
  6. Rebuild infrastructure for regional food systems: With the globalization of food systems, local infrastructure for processing, storage, and distribution has largely been centralized and in some cases outsourced internationally.  While these systems are critical for the large Canadian producers, they often are not regulated or tailored for medium to small-scale producers.  Similarly, marketing boards have done much for stabilizing prices for large producers but create challenges for medium to small-scale producers. Finding innovative strategies to rebuild regional capacity for agriculture joins up a region’s productive potential and capacities with regional markets.  Community food hubs and centres are a different kind of food infrastructure where people can go to learn, experience, and access healthy foods and food skills.
  7. Join-up regionally produced foods and with local purchasing: Many regions and provinces/states are importing the very products that they are growing and exporting.  By creating a joined-up regional food system, the prospect of reducing this redundancy and creating local opportunities for people and businesses is possible.  A thriving wholesale, retail, and consumer-direct local food purchasing industry puts dollars to work locally, increases livelihood potential for farmers and food producers, and ultimately generates more economic activity around regional food.
  8. Celebrate food culture & promote regional distinctiveness of food systems: Every productive region is unique in its biophysical attributes, specialty products, skillsets, and diversity of farm businesses. Many communities have annual gatherings to celebrate garlic, asparagus, and rutabaga, among others. These distinct food cultures draw visitors and help to create an overall identity for the region that contributes to community pride.  Food culture also creates experiences that are important to livability – as seen with destinations woven throughout neighbourhoods, such as patios, food trucks, farmers markets, green grocers and more.
  9. Capture the value of food waste:  The amount of food that is wasted pre- and post- consumer is shocking.  Consider the amount of embodied water, energy, and fuel that is also associated with this waste. A conservative estimate is that over 50% of produce is wasted pre and post consumer; some estimates are closer to 75%.  Wastage on grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, and protein are less, but still significant.  Much of the food that is wasted is perfectly edible and is composted or brought to the landfill instead of being returned to the food stream.  Innovative community initiatives and businesses turn this waste into a resource and are able to remove large volumes of produce from the waste stream to generate affordable food options or a competitive advantage for businesses, respectively.
  10. Foster implementation partners and build capacity for action: Establishing an organization’s visions, goals, policies, designs, and actions for food systems creates a platform that enables partnerships for the successful implementation and monitoring of food system activities.  Further, a vision is only as innovative as it is implementable: too often we treated a completed plan as the end of a process, when in fact it is the beginning. For example, to realize a vision to establish a community farm, the future lead farmers – or “implementers” – need to be involved in the planning at the outset. We need to leverage community-planning efforts to create implementation capacity through process, involving implementation partners early on.


With new funding sources coming on line and a surge of community interest in healthy and prosperous communities, comprehensive planning for food and agriculture systems enables coordinated approaches allowing stronger partnerships and effective implementation. Urban Food Strategies works with small and large communities and organizations to:

    • Conduct early visioning and goal setting,
    • Identify keystone projects and recommendations for implementation,
    • Develop customized and technically sound food and agriculture strategies,
    • Design and deliver quality stakeholder and community engagement process,
    • Undertake research and technical analysis,
    • Produce communications materials, and
    • Create high-quality and visually appealing deliverables.

Project Profiles


AgRefresh (2016-2017) | City of Abbotsford, BC

AgRefresh is a three-part initiative by the City of Abbotsford to review and update current agricultural bylaws, policies and regulations in response to new provincial legislation and changing agricultural market trends regarding agricultural land use. Urban Food Strategies is leading a team to 1) update the Official Community Plan with policies that better reflect agriculture’s important role in Abbotsford, 2) update the Zoning Bylaw to make local regulations around permitted uses on agricultural land clearer and in line with the Ministry of Agriculture and Agricultural Land Commission bylaws, and 3) develop a Bylaw Compliance Strategy to ensure that the use of farmland in Abbotsford align with what the provincial Agricultural Land Commission and Ministry of Agriculture allow. Each project phase involves engagement, research, and synthesis.

Agricultural Area Plan (2014-2015) | Regional District of North Okanagan

In a regional planning exercise led by Upland Consulting, UFS is providing a key expert role in facilitating stakeholder discussion around opportunities for regional food systems as well as supporting project research, engagement, and plan developme
nt. The process resulted in the RDNO Agriculture Strategythat was adopted by the Board of Directors in the fall of 2015.

Sustainable Food System Opportunity Assessment (2014) | University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

Working from the Sustainable Food System Feasibility Study developed by UFS team members in 2011, an update and refresh of the strategy was completed. The 2014 assessment integrated new ideas and opportunities si
nce the 2011 study was developed. The Opportunity Assessment examined post-secondary benchmarks in seven key theme areas (1. Academic

Programs, 2. Local sustainable fair trade procurement, 3. Healthy eating on campus, 4. Farmers markets and food trucks, 5. Growing food and living laboratories, 6. food waste reduction, recovery and management, 7. Engagement, communications and celebration), scanned UAlberta current food system activities, and set out early directions and options. The report was used to engage senior operational and academic leaders at the university.

Local Food Infrastructure Assessment and Plan (2014) | Cowichan Valley Regional District

UFS was part of a team, led by Sustainability Ventures, to assess trends and demand, research best practices, and provide recommendations for strengthening local food infrastructure in the Cowichan Valley. Based on the quantitative and qualitative evidence, the team identified significant gaps in local food infrastructure that limits the economic potential of the processing and primary production industri

es. The final report contains a detailed set of recommendations and implementation steps to fill this gap and provides clarity on why and how the District may enhance regional food infrastructure and strengthen the food e

 City of Nanaimo Food Strategy (2013) | City of Nanaimo
UFS team members worked with staff to develop the framework for the Nanaimo Food Strategy, facilitated a full day stakeholder workshop to generate key directions, and drafted the Nanaimo Food Strategy. Since developing the strategy, the City has developed and adopted innovative zoning bylaws to better integrate urban food production into the City.

 Mackenzie Food Strategy (2013) | District of Mackenzie

UFS team members developed a food and agriculture policy set for the Official Community Plan and then drafted a food strategy, designed to provide further policy detail and implementation options. Policies are customized for a Northern Community.

Fresh: City Wide Urban Agriculture and Food System Strategy (2013) | City of Edmonton
Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 5.57.37 PMIn association with Rob Barrs, UFS team members developed Fresh, City of Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy. Fresh set out a comprehensive vision for sustainable food systems in Edmonton. The team used our diverse skill set to meet the multiple objectives of this project including key partnerships with local leaders in Edmonton’s food, farming, and business sectors and working closely with developers, farmers, and local government. Our history of collaboration with the City to draft food and agriculture policy for The Way We Grow, as well as our undertaking of initial scoping work for the CWFAS, provided our team with a deep understanding of the many nuances and sensitivities associated with this project. To complement the strategy, key deliverables included:

  • Agriculture Inventory Report
  • Local Food Economy Assessment Report
  • Landowners Survey
  • Food and Agriculture Example Practices Guide
  • Stakeholder Summary Report

The City has since established a food council, has begun plan implementation, and was recently recognized by the Alberta Professional Planning Institute with a Planning Merit Award.

Food and Agriculture Policy Set (2011) | City of Edmonton, Edmonton, AB  

In association with Mark Holland, UFS team members developed the food and agriculture policy for the Municipal Development Plan, facilitated stakeholder focus groups to scope the strategy, and helped the City to publicly launch the project.  The MDP was adopted and the City began to further explore urban agriculture and food system opportunities.

Agriculture Now: Building a Strong Agriculture Sector (2011) | City of Campbell River        

UFS team members the lead the development of an Agricultural Plan for the City of Campbell River. As the first of its kind for the City, this plan examines how to start-up agriculture in a community where it has not historically been a significant part of the local economy. Intensive public consultation, examining the role of agriculture in or near the town boundary, identifying key areas and opportunities for the development of the agricultural land base and setting self-sufficiency targets are all key components of Agriculture Now.

Sustainable Food System Feasibility Study (2011) | University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

UFS team members facilitated a process to identify a vision for food on campus and define practical steps towards integrating sustainable food systems through operations and academic departments. Through case study research, stakeholder workshops, and a focus in integrated systems, the U of A Sustainable Food Strategy is the first of its kind in Canada.

Food Fuel + Fibre (2010) | BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Victoria BC

UFS team members conducted background research into the global trends and local impacts of food, fuel and fibre systems to produce a resource document used to help staff understand how food, fuel and fibre sustainability fits into resource lands decision making.

Official Community Plan Update (2009) | Town of Smithers, Smithers BC

UFS team members managed a community engagement and policy development process to update the Town’s Official Community Plan. As part of the OCP process, we led a 2-day charrette to revitalize the downtown.

Albuquerque Food System Strategy (2008) | City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque NM  

In association with Mark Holland, UFS team members worked with planners in the City of Albuquerque on an overall sustainability strategy that included a close examination of how to address food systems with in the overall “green” framework of the City.

Official Community Plan Update (2008) | District of Central Saanich, Central Saanich BC

UFS team members coordinated the planning team and managed a community engagement and policy development process to update the District’s Official Community Plan. Maintaining rural character and developing new zones to allow more density in residential areas were core elements of this plan.

Securing Farmers’ Markets for the Future in Vancouver (2007) | Vancouver Farmers’ Market Society

UFS team members assisted in developing policy and bylaw amendments and interpretations that support long-term use by Farmers’ Markets. In addition, helped plan nd facilitate briefings, and create the “how to” guide for distribution.


Designing food and agriculture activities into existing spaces is a key strategy for healthy communities and regional food systems.

Working with communities to design community gardens, farm parks, food hubs and districts, and agricultural urbanist neighbourhoods,Urban Food Strategies provides services to:

    • Create initial ‘teaser’ concepts and PowerPoint presentations,2013-09-07 13.43.22
    • Form and facilitate advisory committees,
    • Undertake site assessments and preparation of design briefs and background documentation,
    • Develop and deliver design workshops,
    • Produce concept plans and policy statements, and
    • Compile and submit development approval documentation

 Project Profiles

Agricultural Urbanism Concept Development (2015) | Private developer, Calgary AB.

Urban Food Strategeis led a team to develop three agricultural urbanist scenarios for a two-hundred acre site, located outside of Calgary Alberta.  The historic family farm has a long tradition of technical innovation, hard work, and community ties.  In line with this tradition, the landowner/developer wishes to integrate agriculture into the neighbourhood design, currently underway.  Urban Food Strategies provided a design brief as well as an Agricultural Urbanism scenarios report that summarized the many dimensions and scales of integrating food systems into neighbourhoods including:

  • Space requirements
  • Level of overall planning, design and program complexity
  • Level of legal complexity
  • Level of cost/investment
  • Level of infrastructure needs
  • Organizational capacity requirements
  • Level of brand value and market positioning.
  • Types of tenants
  • Degree of contribution to health and wellness
  • Type of food experience
  • Type of guidelines

The scenarios also considered how each part of the food system was expressed at different scales.  These documents were used to further the design and test the feasibility around some of the big ideas that were recommended.  The project is still in a design and planning phase.

Agrihood Concept Development (2014) | Private Developer

UFS, in collaboration with Rob Barrs and Associates, developed and agrihood concept brief and plan that examines in detail the conversion of a 200 acre golf course site into a large farm integrated with smaller growing spaces in a residential neighbourhood.  A key element of this plan is to ensure that implementation capacity for the project vision is financed through the development process.  The concept brief has been used to develop a rezoning appliction to the municipality.

Neighbourhood Farm Concept Development (2013) | Private Developer

Janine developed three scalable neighbourhood farm concepts that covered food production, innovation, and teaching and learning activities for a specific site near Calgary AB.  A high-level assessment of implementation requirements and costs was provided. The deliverable was a highly visual ppt presentation that was used internally to describe and explore the concept of agrihoods.

Farm Park Site Assessment & Concept Development (2013) | Bowen Island Agricultural Alliance

Urban Food Strategies provided a site assessment and opportunities and constraints analysis for locating teaching and learning farm functions in a public park.

Victoria Downtown Public Market Feasibility Study (2012) | Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, Victoria BC

In association with Greenchain consulting, UFS team members facilitated a stakeholder workshop to develop performance areas and preliminary designs for a local food public market in the Hudson Building.  This market has since been built and is already a thriving food destination.

Albion Flats Concept Plan (2010) | District of Maple Ridge, Maple Ridge BC

We facilitated workshops with stakeholders to identify the design principles for the redevelopment of 200 acres of land currently in the Agricultural Land Reserve.  Created a design brief and facilitated a 2-day charrette to develop a concept plan for the site.  The design integrated agriculture, recreation, and commercial land uses.

Southlands Neighbourhood Development Project  (2009) | Century Group, Tsawwassen BC

UFS team members in association with Mark Holland, worked with a community advisory team to create design principles for the development of a 500 acre site in Tsawwassen BC. The design integrated residential/mixed use with habitat areas, and a substantial farm area.  The concept of Agricultural Urbanism was created by our team to infuse an 8-day charrette with a comprehensive approach to food systems in new neighbourhood development.

New City Market Visioning and Site Identification (2009-2011) | Vancouver Farmers Market Society, Vancouver BC

We facilitated a visioning session that brought over 100 stakeholders together to identify the gaps in local food infrastructure and the key performance areas for a food hub in Vancouver.  After the vision was set we developed the main design features of the facility and created site identification criteria to recommend location options. We developed and applied site criteria using GIS to assess and score several sites as the future home of New City Market.

Indicator Model for Sustainable Communities (2008) | PIVOT Society, Edmonton, AB

We participated as a strategic advisor on sustainable food systems to create a comprehensive set of indicators to enable designers to model the sustainability performance of neighbourhoods at the design stage.

Colony Farm Charrette (2009) | Metro Vancouver, Burnaby BC

UFS team members managed a design team and project advisory group through a 2-day charrette to create a site plan for Colony Farm that integrated wildlife areas, recreation, and farming.

Colony Farm Sustainability Plan (2010) | Metro Vancouver, Burnaby BC

Based on the outcomes of the charrette, we developed a sustainability plan, including implementation, for Metro Vancouver to advance the detailed costing of site upgrades (e.g. drainage tile in the farm area).

Neighbourhood Food Strategy (2009) |New Monaco Developments, Peachland BC

UFS developed a food system strategy for a neighbourhood development project in Peachland BC.  The strategy focused on health and active lifestyles and examined opportunities for growing spaces, local food retail, cafes, pubs, nutrition services, and wine tasting.  The strategy provided a plank in the overall framework for the neighbourhood deign.  The project  is supported by the municipality and is currently in the rezoning stages of development.

Designing Urban Agriculture Opportunities for SEFC (2007) | City of Vancouver, Vancouver BC

Holland Barrs Planning Group developed an urban agriculture strategy for the neighbourhood of Southeast False Creek, location of the 2010 Olympic Village and recipient of the highest rating for a LEED-ND project. Through this process, design considerations and guidelines, technical considerations, and management strategies for effectively integrating urban agriculture (UA) into a high-density neighbourhood were developed.


Healthy Built Environment Toolkit Released

The Healthy Built Environment Linkages Toolkit is a groundbreaking evidence-based and expert-informed resource that links planning principles to health outcomes. Urban Food Strategies, among other leading provincial experts on the healthy built environment (HBE), contributed to its development.  The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) released the Toolkit in April 2014.

The HBE Toolkit can be downloaded at: