Ladner’s new book offers advice to people and policy-makers keen to reassert their food sovereignty
By Randy Shore
Peter Ladner has just written a book entitled the Urban Food Revolution which details the changes people and policy makers in Vancouver and the rest of Canada are making to regain control of our food sovereignty. He is pictured here in his yard that he has converted into a food garden.
What would a city approaching food self-sufficiency look like?
Peter Ladner’s soon-to-be released book The Urban Food Revolution offers tantalizing glimpses of urban environments that successfully integrate commercial enterprise, low-impact living spaces and agricultural productivity.
Balcony gardens, urban market gardens, rooftop beehives, vertical greenhouses and aquaponics, and acres of lawn converted to high-value herb and vegetable production are all being employed with success somewhere. Why not everywhere?
“I didn’t want to make this a book about studies or proposals,” Ladner told The Sun. “I really wanted to focus on real things that people and cities are doing that actually work, things people and politicians could look at and say, ‘We could do that here.’”
Though Ladner comes from a farming family — a certain farming community south of Vancouver bears his family name — he is admittedly more a gardener and an idea man than he is a farmer.
After leaving civic politics following a failed mayoral bid in 2008, Ladner spent the past two years as a Fellow at the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University on a project called Planning Cities as if Food Matters, which includes undergraduate teaching and organizing public dialogues, and that enabled him to research the book.
Ladner is vice-chairman of the board of The Natural Step, an environmental education foundation, and he continues to write a column for Business in Vancouver, the publication he founded in 1989.
A lifelong proponent of sustainable urbanism, Ladner brings his experience as a journalist, publisher, and civic politician and policy-maker to bear on a question that is burning brightly in the popular zeitgeist: How will we feed ourselves when global food systems falter?
The forces that are already undermining the systems that bring historically unprecedented abundance to grocery store shelves are torn straight from the headlines: soil erosion, childhood obesity, peak oil, diabetes and cancer, climate change, concentrated corporate control of agriculture (so-called Big Food), and deadly food-borne illness.
Read more at Vancouver Sun