Preparing Future Food System Planning Professionals and Scholars: Reflections on Teaching Experiences


  • Wendy Mendes University of British Columbia
  • Joe Nasr Ryerson University
  • Timothy Beatley University of Virginia
  • Branden Born University of Washington
  • Kristina Bouris City of Victoria, British Columbia
  • Marcia Caton Campbell Center for Resilient Cities
  • Jerome Kaufman University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Barbara Lynch Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kami Pothukuchi Wayne State University
  • Gerda Wekerle York University



Food System Planning, Higher Education


This article fills a gap in knowledge related to the preparation of future food systems professionals and scholars. Specifically, the article explores challenges and opportunities encountered by educators who teach food systems courses in university settings. The topic of food systems has recently experienced a boost in acceptance as an area of academic inquiry and legitimate professional practice. The article presents seven first-hand accounts by university educators who reflect back on their early experiences teaching courses on food systems in the discipline of urban planning. Set within a specific global region — North America — the findings are relevant to other professions and academic disciplines grappling with the topic of food systems. The analysis points to tensions and opportunities related to the professionalization of this emergent field of research and practice.


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Author Biographies

Wendy Mendes, University of British Columbia

Adjunct Professor, School of Community & Regional Planning, University of British Columbia.

Joe Nasr, Ryerson University

independent Scholar, Lecturer and Consultant associated with the Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University.

Timothy Beatley, University of Virginia

Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture, University of Virginia.

Branden Born, University of Washington

Associate Professor, Department of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington.

Kristina Bouris, City of Victoria, British Columbia

Community Planner, City of Victoria, British Columbia.

Marcia Caton Campbell, Center for Resilient Cities

Milwaukee Program Director, Center for Resilient Cities.

Jerome Kaufman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jerome Kaufman, Emeritus Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Barbara Lynch, Georgia Institute of Technology

Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Kami Pothukuchi, Wayne State University

Associate Professor of Urban Planning, Wayne State University.

Gerda Wekerle, York University

Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and Coordinator of the Planning Program, York University.



How to Cite

Mendes, W., Nasr, J., Beatley, T., Born, B., Bouris, K., Caton Campbell, M., Kaufman, J., Lynch, B., Pothukuchi, K., & Wekerle, G. (2011). Preparing Future Food System Planning Professionals and Scholars: Reflections on Teaching Experiences. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(1), 15–52.



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