The Emerging Role of a Food System Planner: Integrating Food Considerations into Planning


  • Tammara Soma Toronto, Ontario
  • Sarah Wakefield University of Toronto



Food Security, Food System Education, Food System Planner, Food System Planning


Recently, the planning profession in North America has begun to recognize the importance of integrating food considerations into planning. However, the field of food system planning is still in its infancy, and its proponents seek a more thorough understanding of the applied role of planning practitioners in this emerging field. This exploratory investigation included interviews with a small sample of self-identified "food system planners" in Canada and the United States whose work is quietly nurturing this emerging subfield in the planning profession. Based on the views of this sample of planners, we offer several considerations on how the professional planning establishment can enhance the ability of planners to contribute to the development of holistic, sustainable, and equitable food systems. The lessons learned here may be applicable to other fields and disciplines where food system work is an emerging focus.


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Author Biographies

Tammara Soma, Toronto, Ontario

34 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 337, Toronto, Ontario M4R2H6 Canada; +1-647-703-4373.

Sarah Wakefield, University of Toronto

Department of Geography and Programme in Planning; 5th Floor Sidney Smith Hall; University of Toronto; 100 St. George St.; Toronto, Ontario M5S 3X3 Canada; +1-416-978-3653.



How to Cite

Soma, T., & Wakefield, S. (2011). The Emerging Role of a Food System Planner: Integrating Food Considerations into Planning. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(1), 53–64.



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