Sustainable Food Park – back to the future

This article was most recently updated in early 2013.

It seems that  imaginations are whirring with creative ideas for the Garden City Lands. Let’s travel back in time to one of the visions that inspired the grassroots movement to save the lands from high-density construction.

On February 6, 2007, the Richmond Poverty Response Committee, with its task force that’s now the Richmond Food Security Society, presented its Sustainable Food Systems Park proposal to the planning committee of Richmond council. The proposal, which included a conceptual map (shown in low definition above), is probably the first comprehensive vision for ALR-compatible development of the Garden City Lands.

As the minutes of that meeting state, a motion was carried “That the Richmond Poverty Response Committee and the Richmond Food Security Task Force [now “Society”] be included in any stakeholders list for the Garden City Lands Study.”

The proposal and this blog article have been updated several times, and further updating of the proposal would be needed by now (2013). However, it’s still a good starting point for the envisioned Garden City Lands study. I think it’s great that two organizations that care so much for the neediest members of the Richmond community will be (or at least are supposed to be) stakeholders in the study that the far-thinking planning committee planned over three years ago.

Even if you just want to see the later-2007 revision of the concept map, it’s worth downloading the PDF of the Sustainable Food Systems Park proposal (2011 update). It’s well organized and easy to skim or read. If it’s useful for you to see the original 2007 version, which was revised soon afterward, you’ll find it in this Report to Council of Feb. 9, 2007.



  1. 1
    kaiori Says:

    This is wonderful. What can we do to help make this a reality?

  2. 2
    arzeena Says:

    Wow, that’s the big question isn’t it? I guess one of the first things you could do is write a letter to the editor for one of the local papers and tell everyone that you want to see food grown on the Garden City Lands.

    It wouldn’t take much to get a portion of the lands into production. On just an acre and a half, all the activities I mentioned in the “Dream Big” article are occurring in Terra Nova so it’s very much doable. In less than 3 years, we had fully functioning farm.

    If there’s a will amongst City Council, they can direct staff to help make this happen.

  3. 3
    kewljim Says:

    The City Farmer News blog has a fitting new post titled “City of Philadelphia offers sub-acre plots for urban farming.” It shows how Philadelphia is going about using an urban farm area in a way that is similar to one of the approaches in the Sustainable Food Systems Park proposal.

    City Farmer News,, is the blog of Vancouver’s Michael Levenston.

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