New Urbanism Meets Alternative Agriculture

George Hall, June 24th, 2011
From Good Food World

This is the first of several columns and interviews resulting from a recent 4-day Congress for New Urbanism Conference, otherwise known as CNU 19, held this year in Madison, Wisconsin, home of dairy, bicycles, and wacky politics. How many other states have a quarter of their state senators up for recall or host tractor protest rallies around the state capitol, have 6 months of winter, and a burgeoning organic foods industry?

Growing Local,” was the theme of this year’s CNU conference. Along with nationally renowned architects and economists such as Stefanos Polyzoides and Harvard’s Ed Glaeser, agriculture-related presenters included Vicky Ranney, co-developer of Prairie Crossing in Illinois, a combination residential community and CSA.

Academics such as Dr. Samina Raja, SUNY-Buffalo, who is studying and helping to define critical elements of food systems and regional planners such as Jerry Tinianow, Director of the Center for Energy and the Environment of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, who is focusing on the challenges of “not only producing food, but also aggregating, processing, storing, distributing, selling” and consumption, were speakers.

Several of the acknowledged superstars of the urban agriculture movement such as Will Allen, Mac Arthur Fellow and founder of  Growing Power, Inc. in Milwaukee, and Daniel Carmody, President of Detroit’s Eastern Market, presented too.