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Planning for Sustainable Food Systems in Canada


Survey Poster

The survey is now closed and we are compiling data collected from over 400 planning practitioners across Canada. 

This survey is part of a 3-year, SSHRC funded research project exploring the state of food systems in planning practice in Canada. For more information about this survey and the other phases of this research, please read the PDF icon project brief, or contact ISFS Research Associate, Emily Hansen:

This survey has been co-developed by the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) and an advisory committee of professional planners from across Canada. Here is some  of what our advisors had to say  about the work.

“Food is a connector and an important lever for sustainability and systems change. Food is also a basic human right and what we do as planners impact peoples’ ability to access and grow food, and to close the loop in the nutrient cycle. In a nutshell, planners influence the food system from the point of production to waste management and beyond. Amidst the pandemic, food issues should be one of the key priorities in the planning field and this initiative by KPU and CIP is a good first step to get this issue on the radar.”

- Dr. Tammara Soma, MCIP, RPP, Assistant Professor (Planning) Simon Fraser University

“I was excited to take part in the ISFS advisory committee to help with the development of the national survey since urban food systems is one of my areas of interest. While planning is a broad field and not all planners may have a direct focus on food systems planning, I believe there are still ways for us to integrate it into the various areas of our work, especially since it is an emerging topic that is becoming increasing important. With the information gathered from this survey, we can get a better picture of where food systems planning is currently at in Canada, and identify supporting tools that may be helpful for planners and practitioners!"

- Dilys Huang, MCIP, RPP, LEED Green Assoc., Development Planner, City of New Westminster

"My experience with trying to adjust and plan for food security issues in real time during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the importance of expanding the dialogue about food and how it is used and viewed within our society. Participating in this project was a first step in helping me understand the knowledge gaps and assets that exist in the planning profession across the country, something that will be particularly helpful as the City of Surrey determines its own role in contributing to a local, regional, provincial and national resilient food system."

- Carla Stewart, RPP MCIP MCAHP, Senior Policy Planner, City of Surrey 

« La participation au sondage sur les systèmes alimentaires mis en place par KPU m’a permis de mieux comprendre la définition et l’enjeu du défi alimentaire dans ma pratique d’urbanisme. Cette question est trop souvent limitée à l’agriculture et aux contraintes en aménagement. Elle mérite d’être mieux enseignée à la relève et intégrée dans notre réflexion sur la gestion du territoire. La participation au sondage de la communauté d’urbanistes est importante pour faire avancer cette réflexion ».

Jean-François L. Vachon, urbaniste - OUQ, CIP


This survey was developed in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Planners. This research has been approved by Kwantlen Polytechnic University's research ethics board and funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through the College and Community Social Innovation Fund.

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