Emerging Assessment Tools To Inform Food System Planning


  • Julia Freedgood American Farmland Trust
  • Marisol Pierce-Quiñonez Tufts University
  • Kenneth Meter Crossroads Resource Center




Community Food Assessment, Comprehensive Planning, Food System Assessment, Food System Planning, Food Systems Evaluation, Foodsheds, Local Food and Farm Economies


Food system planning is an emerging field engaging planners and planning organizations, civic leaders, citizens, food policy councils, and others interested in creating more sustainable food systems. Planning practices are being developed to address the complex soil-to-soil food system, which spans production to consumption to reuse and recycling of waste. Community engagement is critical to fostering interactions within the full spectrum of food system stakeholders — from farmers and ranchers to planners and local officials to individual and institutional consumers. A growing body of assessment tools is being developed to inform this process. As most of these tools are relatively new, there is little research that addresses the different methodologies or evaluates their use as planning tools. This paper outlines a variety of approaches and suggests further research to evaluate their efficacy.


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Author Biographies

Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust

Managing Director, Farmland & Community Initiatives, American Farmland Trust, 1200 18th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036 USA; +1-202-378-1205.

Marisol Pierce-Quiñonez, Tufts University

M.A. candidate in Urban & Environmental Policy and Planning, and M.S. candidate in Agriculture, Food & Environment. Tufts University, 97 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA 02144 USA.

Kenneth Meter, Crossroads Resource Center

President, Crossroads Resource Center, 7415 Humboldt Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55423 USA.



How to Cite

Freedgood, J., Pierce-Quiñonez, M., & Meter, K. (2011). Emerging Assessment Tools To Inform Food System Planning. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 2(1), 83–104. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2011.021.023



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