Growing Buffalo’s capacity for local food: A systems framework for sustainable agriculture

Publication year: 2011
Source: Applied Geography, Volume 31, Issue 4, October 2011, Pages 1242-1251

Sara S., Metcalf , Michael J., Widener

This paper employs a systems framework to explore sustainable agriculture as a source of food in Buffalo, NY and other Rust Belt cities that exhibit an abundance of abandoned property and vacant lots in core urban areas. Considering land as a common stock proves helpful for determining whether or not a system is sustainable, such that stocks of natural resources are not depleted faster than they can be replenished. By identifying feedback relationships in the local food system, planners and activists in these cities are redesigning their food production and distribution systems to meet the needs of food-insecure residents.

 Highlights: ► Buffalo’s vacant lots create opportunities for urban farms in underserved spaces. ► Systems modeling is helping to assess urban capacity for sustainable agriculture. ► Feedback effects from urban farming and food choices inform local food policy.