Community Food Lab partnered with Intelligent Futures, a Calgary-based firm of planners, designers, and urbanists to develop an Urban Agriculture Strategy for Strathcona County, Alberta, a mixed urban and rural community just outside of Edmonton. As part of an agricultural master plan developed by the County, urban agriculture was recognized as a critical first step towards greater participation, awareness, and capacity on agricultural issues for residents throughout the County, not only in rural districts. The County already had a general sense of key next steps, but needed assistance developing a detailed plan that negotiated a number of controversial local issues around small livestock, chickens, and beekeeping.
In response, the directions of this Strategy emerged from an intensive community engagement process that allowed the community to be reflected in the plan, and also to raise agricultural awareness through the planning process itself. Through thoughtful dialogue and engagement the controversial topics were resolved with approvals from community members as well as elected officials and County staff. The resulting Strategy outlines Strathcona County’s vision for urban agriculture, sets goals to manifest this vision, and defines strategy areas with roadmaps of actions to achieve these goals.
Community Food Lab co-led the Strategy development and action planning, contributed to community engagement efforts, and acted as the urban agriculture and food system specialist throughout the project.
Read the Strathcona County Urban Agriculture Strategy in its entirety here. The Urban Agriculture Strategy is the first of six strategies to be developed as a part the implementation of Strathcona County’s long-term Agriculture Master Plan, adopted in June 2015.