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.