A Food System Analysis of the City of Atlanta
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The study of local and regional food systems has been identified at the global and national levels as an important activity for municipalities to evaluate. Food security, or consumer access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food, is increasingly studied in public health and poverty research. Cities are utilizing urban agriculture as a tool for economic development, vacant land reuse, community building, and public health. The negative environmental and societal ramifications of the current food system necessitate a shift towards agriculture at varying scales of production. In the last five years, Atlanta public officials and food advocates have identified goals towards building a more localized and vibrant food system. This report provides further reasoning for promoting food systems planning, identifies mechanisms employed by other cities and regions to enhance the provision and consumption of locally grown food, and describes Atlanta’s current efforts in this regard. Strategic directions to guide Atlanta are recommended to help improve its efforts and overcome the identified barriers.