Food System Planning
Shaping the way we live, DVRPC builds consensus on a range of issues that include improving transportation, promoting smart growth, protecting the environment, and enhancing the economy. Intersecting all of these is our regional food system—its production, distribution, processing, and consumption. Greater Philadelphia has a rich agricultural community, a diverse distribution and transportation network, and nationally recognized nonprofit and for-profit food system stakeholders. DVRPC's food system planning program aims to assist stakeholders in recognizing these advantages, and works to overcome the challenges to create a more sustainable and resilient food system.
DVRPC's current food system planning efforts include:
DVRPC's Stakeholder Committee meets regularly to review food system issues in and around Philadelphia.
Food, a good produced, consumed, and shipped throughout our region, is a major component of our region's transportation, land use, energy, and environmental systems. DVRPC's Eating Here: Greater Philadelphia's Food System Plan (Summary) identified a set of shared values and goals, key indicators, and recommendations for a more sustainable food system.
Montgomery County is home to a great variety of farms, on-site farm stands, and farmers' markets. Farms are an important part of Montgomery County's community, economy, and historical and cultural landscape. To strengthen county farms, bolster the health of county residents, and improve quality of life, DVRPC is working closely with the Montgomery County Planning Commission and various food system stakeholders to develop a local food promotion study for Montgomery County.
Through coordinated work and research with a team of partners, DVRPC is working to create a strategy that identifies stakeholders, funders, current projects and investments, and strategies that will improve Camden City's Food System and Economy.
In August 2014, DVRPC completed a scan of funding programs targeted at beginning farmers and published Greener Pastures for New Farmers. DVRPC's 2010 Greater Philadelphia Food System Study and its 2011 Eating Here: Greater Philadelphia's Food System Plan both highlighted some of the obstacles that many farmers in the region face in accessing affordable land, financing, and knowledge. In an effort to better understand those challenges, advance several recommendations made in Eating Here, and explore more solutions, DVRPC completed this report, Greener Pastures.
Transforming Open Space to Sustainable Farm Enterprises, a report released by the GreenSpace Alliance and DVRPC in 2012, examines the potential use and benefits of transforming preserved open space that is not currently farmed into sustainable agricultural enterprises.