Findings from a Survey of Canadian Planners
Click below to read the survey summary report:
Click below to read the complete survey report:
To view a conference presentation on Survey Results, and an accompanying panel discussion from the 2021 Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) annual conference "North of Normal", click the thumbnail below:
About the Survey
This survey gathered information about planners preparedness to engage in food systems planning, their knowledge and expertise about food system areas, and how they address food issues in their work. The survey also assesses perceived barriers and knowledge gaps that impact the advancement of food systems planning. Findings from this study will contribute to the planning profession by providing information that could support the development of new education opportunities and training resources to better prepare planners to participate in and advance food systems planning in Canada.
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
“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." , 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
Future Research: Phase 2&3
The research team has launched the next two phases of research:
Phase 2 - Indentifying Best Practices for Local Level Food Systems Planning in Canada: This phase involves a scan of innovative food systems planning practices across Canada. Researchers will conduct interviews with practitioners on the ground to understand how food systems planning occurs. Lessons learned from these communities will help to develop resources and tools for planners and practitioners across the country.
Phase 3 - Piloting a Novel Bioregional Food Systems Planning Process in the Okanagan Bioregion: This phase will build on relationships developed through execution of the Okanagan Bioregion Food System Project. Researchers will work with local governments and other food system stakeholders across the bioregion to co-create a process for food systems planning at the bioregional scale. This represents a novel approach to food systems planning and the outcomes will support the development of similar processes in communities and regions 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 project brief, or contact ISFS Research Associate, Kristi Tatebe: firstname.lastname@example.org