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Chicago, IL GO TO 2040 Local Food Policy Component

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The Chicago metropolitan area is a large, growing region that understands the urgency to support local food systems for the future needs. This view of local foods is formalized in the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) long-range comprehensive plan, GO TO 2040. The Plan was developed through extensive public participation which occurred over the summer of 2009 when more than 35,000 participants had their say at CMAP "Invent the Future" workshops, kiosks, web tools (including customized MetroQuest scenario-planning software and social media like Facebook), and booths at community festivals. In addition, technical research and reports, in partnership with Chicago Community Trust, were drafted on topics such as local food. CMAP and Chicago's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Committee approved the Plan on October 13, 2010.

One of the Plan's recommendations is to "promote sustainable local food". This recommendation addresses local foods in two categories, the production of food and the population's access to affordable, nutritious and fresh food.

The Plan's recommendation outlines:

  • Quality of life, economic, and environmental benefits of consuming sustainable local foods;
  • Current conditions of local food production and access;
  • Specific indicators and short-term and long-term targets to increase local food production and decrease food deserts;
  • Implementation actions and recommendations for food production, food access, and outreach and education; and
  • Costs and financing.

Upon approval, the implementation of the recommendations to promote sustainable local foods began immediately. Since the adoption of this plan, CMAP has implemented many different programs and actions within the region, including:

  • Drafting a guide for municipal planners to incorporate local foods into their comprehensive plans;
  • Partnering with Lake County to begin a Sustainable Food Systems project; and
  • Creating a partnership with the Green and Healthy Neighborhoods (GHN) plan, which among other actions will invest in urban agriculture as a mechanism for redevelopment in select neighborhoods.

CMAP works directly with the City of Chicago, which has approved policies to further local food production. Some of these local policies include:

  • Passing a local food ordinance that permits agriculture uses like community gardens, urban farms, and rooftop farms in most areas of the City; and 
  • Approving a food truck ordinance that allows food trucks in neighborhoods throughout the City.

Additional information on this case study:
GO TO 2040: Local Food Policy Progress Report
Local Food System Recommended Actions

Category: Climate Resilience Planning
Issue: Sustainable Foodsheds
Community Type: Urban
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact: Amy Talbot This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 312-386-8646

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