How the grassroots local food movement is changing what we eat ⋅ Charlottesville Tomorrow

Many people in the Charlottesville area seem to value local food, but one University of Virginia lecturer said she thinks the community can take the movement one step further. “This food movement is about healing lands, neighborhoods and identities,” said Tanya Denckla Cobb, associate director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation. “It’s about how creative this movement is in finding ways to use open spaces in communities for agriculture.” Cobb shared stories from her new book, “Reclaiming Our Food,” at CitySpace on Tuesday as part of the Greater Virginia Green Building Council’s luncheon series. via How the grassroots local food…

Uplifting the Cities of the Poor by Edward L. Glaeser, City Journal Summer 2014

Over the last half-century, a once overwhelmingly rural world has become ever more urban. In 1960, the urbanization rate in the majority of poor countries was less than 10 percent. Just 3 percent of Botswana’s population lived in cities, for example, while Kenya was 7 percent urban and Bangladesh then East Pakistan was 5 percent urban. Even China had only 16 percent of its people then residing in cities. Nowadays, China is more than 50 percent urban and Botswana more than 60 percent. In those two countries, industrialization and increasing prosperity have accompanied the population shift to cities. China’s real…

The National Endowment for the Arts Announces Leadership of Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is dedicated to helping communities like the Delta rediscover their identity and reshape their cultural landscape. Beginning July 1, 2012, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) will be a partnership among the NEA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Project for Public Spaces, along with the Orton Family Foundation and the CommunityMatters® Partnership. CIRD works to enhance the quality of life and economic viability of rural areas. CIRD does this through design workshops that gather local leaders together with experts in planning, design, and creative placemaking to assist with locally identified issues….

Charles Muldrow: The restoration of historic buildings in Charleston, SC

The survival of the underlying form of the single house over large areas of the city is an embedded ‘sustainable’ urban form. These older blocks provide a syncopated rhythm to the street, with the sustained intervals of house, piazza, garden, house, piazza, garden, etc. Post-Bellum Charleston was not a prosperous place. The local saying was, “too poor to paint, to proud to whitewash.” Yet these weathered remainders of times gone by largely remained standing. Thus in the 1920s there was a phenomenon now called ‘the Charleston Renaissance,’ wherein the crumbled stucco and naked wood siding of the day became a…

Cultivating Havana: Urban Agriculture and Food Security in the Years of Crisis | Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

The break up of the Soviet Bloc in 1989 plunged Cuba into the worst economic crisis of its history. Cuba lost 85 percent of its trade, including both food and agricultural inputs. The conventional system of agriculture was highly dependent on imported pesticides, fertilizers, and farming equipment, and without these inputs, domestic production fell. This decline in food production, coupled with a drastic reduction in food imports, led to a 50 percent reduction in caloric intake in the early 1990s. Cuba was faced with a dual challenge of doubling food production with half the previous inputs. Cuba responded to the…

Robert Redford praises Prince Charles’s film at Sundance festival | Film | The Observer

The film, Harmony: A New Way of Looking At Our World, was being given its premiere at the opening night of Sundance London, the first non-US outing for Redford’s successful film and music festival. The prince said he was “enormously touched and honoured”, not just because Redford had earlier hailed him as “incredible” and invited him to screen Harmony, but because he had brought Sundance to the UK capital. “I think we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for that,” he said. Harmony, narrated by and starring the prince, tells how he has worked with environmental campaigners, government and…

Wendell Berry: NEH 2012 Jefferson Lecture

Wendell E. Berry, noted poet, essayist, novelist, farmer, and conservationist, delivers the 41st Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, entitled “It All Turns on Affection,” from the Concert Hall of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 23rd, 2012. Mr. Berry is introduced by Jim Leach, Chairman of The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and preceded by a reading by novelist, short story writer, and fellow Kentuckian Bobbie Anne Mason of Berry’s poem “VI” from his collection Leavings. via NEH 2012 Jefferson Lecture.

Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia : UnSprawl Case Study : Terrain.org

Located 30 miles southwest of Atlanta, Serenbe is nestled in the heart of 40,000 acres of forest—now incorporated as the City of Chattahoochee Hills—protected by a development plan that preserves 70 percent of the area’s green space. A centerpiece of the Serenbe community is the 25-acre, organic Serenbe Farms, which not only supplies produce to a weekly farmer’s market and onsite and regional restaurants, but also helps to forge a sense of identity for the overall development. Integrating agriculture with homes is only part of the molding of a balanced community. With pedestrian-oriented village cores that consist of retail, restaurants,…

Local Food Movement

• “The desire to provide fresh, healthy food to those who are hungry, disabled, low-income, incarcerated, homeless or homebound inspires people to initiate different kinds of projects – gleaning (gathering leftovers), volunteer farms to serve pantries, community gardens, or community farms where people can not only grow food, but gain confidence and job skills.” • “Virtually every aspect of community life – economic activity, public health and environmental health – can be impacted and advanced by the local food movement. Whether it is growing the number of farmers, butchers, bakers or tomato sauce makers, all members of the community have…