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Workshop One - Food. “If we don’t get sustainability in agriculture first, sustainability will not happen.” Wes Jackson, Land Institute. Workshop One - Food. Goals – Working Group on Food. To investigate food production, transportation and security in the Metro Vancouver region.

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Workshop One - Food

“If we don’t get sustainability in agriculture first, sustainability will not happen.”

Wes Jackson, Land Institute

Workshop One - Food

Goals – Working Group on Food

  • To investigate food production, transportation and security in the Metro Vancouver region.
  • To identify the driving forces propelling regional food production and consumption trends
  • Explore key indicators that help to define the relationship between food and urban form
  • Propose recommendations on how the regional food system can contribute to the provincial target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Food & Resources:

Modern Agriculture = Cheap Energy

1910: 1 BTU fuel energy = 1 BTU food

Today: 20 BTU fuel energy = 1 BTU food

Implications of Peak Oil & Peak Water

Workshop One - Food

Source: SEFC Urban Agriculture Study

Workshop One - Food

Industrial Agriculture

  • Modern agriculture = monoculture
  • 12 plant species provide three-quarters of the world’s food.
  • 50% of the world’s food energy comes from varieties of rice, wheat, and maize.
  • Concentration Farm Ownership
    • Number of Farms in Canada
    • 1951 - 623,087
    • 2002 - 246,920

Source: International Development Research Centre, SEFC Urban Agriculture Study, Statistics Canada

food miles globalization
Food Miles & Globalization

weighted average source distances (WASD

Between 1968 and 1998, world food production increased by 84%, population by 91%, while food trade increased 184 %.

Estimated amount of food imported into the US (2001) –

39 % of fruits,

12 %t of vegetables,

40 % of lamb,

78 % of fish and shellfish

WASD – Weighted Average Source Distance

Source: Leopold Institute, Iowa State University, 2003

context of food metro vancouver
Context of Food: Metro Vancouver

Amount of food consumed in Lower Mainland produced locally: 20-60%

Considering population projections, production will need to expand by 60% to meet current levels of food security

Between 2002 and 2006 70% increase in the number of farmer’s markets in BC

Typically a 3 year waiting list for a community garden plot in the City of Vancouver

“Clearly, our present ways of agriculture are not sustainable, and so our food supply is not sustainable. We must restore ecological health to our agricultural landscapes, as well as economic and cultural stability to our rural communities…. For 50 or 60 years, we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. That is a mistake. ”

Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson

NY Times, January 2009

number certified organic producers in canada
Number certified organic producers in Canada
  • Drivers Increased Sales of Organic Food
  • Increased consumer emphasis on health and nutrition
  • Consumer concerns about food safety, environmental protection, GMOs
  • Entry of mainstream food marketers General Mills, Heinz, Kellogs and McDonalds

Source: Certified Organic Production reports 1992-2005,

Anne Macey for Canadian Organic Growers

sustainable local food supply
Redesign, re-structure, and reform local food systems

De-centralize - Move to integrated, dispersed, stable systems.

Minimize transportation distances

Build food production in and around urban areas

Rebuild the cultural basis of food production

Sustainable Local Food Supply

Israeli Kibbutz

Agricultural Urbanism


What does a strong regional food system mean to urban development/ redevelopment in Metro Vancouver?

Are there optimal urban forms or patterns that support a strong/resilient food system?

Workshop One - Food

Rooftop Garden, Waterfront Hotel

Center for Urban Agriculture, Seattle

Food Production Transect: Southlands Design Charrette

What opportunities/ obstacles does urban design in Metro Vancouver present to enhancing a strong regional food system?

Are there regulatory barriers – political/social/ economic/ technological?

Workshop One - Food

food community
What synergies exist between regional and urban agriculture, and other sustainability goals?

Are there development conflicts between supporting regional and urban agriculture, and other sustainability goals?

Food & Community

Workshop One - Food

Source: SEFC Urban Agriculture Study

“By beginning to make agriculture sustainable we will have taken the first step forward for humanity to begin to measure progress by its independence from the extractive economy.”

Wes Jackson

Workshop One - Water

Living Water Smart in Metro Vancouver:

Alignment of Regional Actions with Provincial Goals


Kim Stephens, MEng, PEng

Program Coordinator

Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC


Metro Vancouver LWMP Reference Panel


Sustainability by Design Water Group

“What the Cell is to the Body, The Site is to the Region”

presentation outline
Workshop One - Water

Presentation Outline

Provincial Goals Provides Direction

Regional Regulation Drives Action

How SxD Can Make a Contribution

Workshop One - Water

‘Living Water Smart,

BC’s Water Plan’

is a visionary document

  • It encourages local governments to:
  • do business differently
  • prepare communities for change
  • choose to be water smart

Provincial Goals

Workshop One - Water

Green Communities Project complements and supports

Living Water Smart

Key Messages:

The Province is fostering partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration

The Province is leveraging change through grants

Provincial Goals

regional regulation
Workshop One - Water

Regional Regulation

Key Message:

The LWMP is a powerful regulatory tool that has the potential to truly effect change for the better on the ground

Workshop One - Water

The Reference Panel identified these

theme areas for structuring the Plan Elements::


protection and/or improvement of stream habitat

and marine receiving environment

SEWAGE TREATMENT: technology choices, level of treatment and innovation


asset management, cost control &

greening of urban landscape

Regional Regulation

Workshop One - Water

The ‘theme areas’ have evolved

into a ‘model for integration’ in the region

Regional Regulation

regional regulation1
Workshop One - Water

We have informed the Metro Vancouver Board that a

‘Design with Nature’ approach and re-use of resources are key to climate change adaptation which must be part of this plan

Regional Regulation

  • Develop compact, complete communities
  • Increase transportation options
  • Re-use and recycle water, energy and nutrients from liquid wastes
  • Protect and restore urban ‘green’ space
  • Strive for a lighter ‘hydrologic footprint’
  • Achieve higher levels of stream, wetland and receiving water protection
Workshop One - Water

SxD participants can help advance


  • Championing the Living Water Smart Vision, in particular these objectives for doing business differently:
    • STREAM HEALTH: By 2012, all land and water managers will know what makes a stream healthy, and therefore be able to help land and water users factor in new approaches to securing stream health and the full range of stream benefits
    • WATER USE: By 2020, overall water use in British Columbia will be 33% more efficient
  • Advocating use of the Water Balance Model to establish watershed-specific targets that achieve the stream health objective

SxD Contribution