Sustainable Foodscapes: Obtaining Food within Resilient Communities
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This thesis examines the feasibility of fostering “sustainable foodscapes” in urban communities. A review of the literature on the topics of sustainability, resilience, sustainable food security, and healthy communities is used to determine to the definition of “sustainable foodscapes.” This thesis uses a framework of socio-ecological restoration to consider how communities might adopt sustainable foodscapes. A case study is conducted in the city of Waterloo, Ontario to test the criteria of sustainable foodscapes and explore some of the practical opportunities and barriers to developing sustainable foodscapes in an urban community. The methods for the case study include semi-structured interviews. Interview results indicate that a variety of sustainable foodscapes such as community gardening, individual gardening, and foraging are used in Waterloo already, and survey results suggest that various members of the community are open to the adoption of these foodscapes. The case study results reveal that diverse community members view sustainable foodscapes as an important contribution to community health, less for the purpose of ecological sustainability than for their usefulness as a way of promoting community interaction, social learning, and fostering a sense of place. Ways to conduct a socio-ecological restoration for sustainable foodscapes in Waterloo could include increasing areas for the purposes of foraging to occur in an ecologically benign manner, such as on marginal or private land; creating municipal policies and Official Plans that provide support for community gardens, and fostering more accepting attitudes towards sustainable foodscapes by providing increased opportunities for education and participation among community members.