The Resilience of America's Urban Food Systems: Evidence From Five Cities

The Resilience of America's Urban Food Systems: Evidence From Five Cities

Urban resilience planning for natural disasters must include efforts to protect and secure food systems for food-insecure populations, a report from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and the Rockefeller Foundation warns. Based on an analyses of food systems in Los Angeles; Madison, Wisconsin; New Orleans; New York City; and Portland, Maine, the report, The Resilience of America's Urban Food Systems: Evidence From Five Cities (71 pages, PDF), found that key vulnerabilities in urban food systems include the location of processing plants, distribution centers, retail stores, and food banks as well as transportation routes that might be closed for extended periods of time. In contrast, in a resilient food system like Madison's, warehouse suppliers tend to be located outside the city, redundancy is built into transportation networks, public-private sector coordination and planning is robust, and local food banks have strong partnerships with farms, processors, wholesalers, grocery stores, and larger regional food banks.