Healthy Louisville 2020

Healthy Louisville 2020
[Eating/Activity Section Available Below]

Healthy Louisville 2020, is a comprehensive, community-wide plan to significantly improve the city’s health over the next six years. Improving our city’s health will directly improve our quality of life, prosperity and competitiveness.   Healthy Louisville 2020 is the roadmap to get us there. It contains 13 focus areas, target goals, and more than 80 recommendations to help us achieve our goals.

The goal related to eating and activity is to decrease the percentage of Louisville adults who are obese from 29.3% to 26.4%, and decreasing the percentage of children who are obese – from 24.2% to 21.8% for 6th graders and from 17.9% to 16.1% for kindergartners.

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Louisville Food Principles provide a broad framework for collaboration

In 2013, the Bingham Fellows developed a set of community food principles to create awareness of simple, fundamental truths. Here are their principles:

  • We believe in creating a community food system whereby all community members have equitable, affordable, and convenient access to nutritional food.
  • We believe in supporting food education efforts that address how food is produced, processed, labeled, distributed, marketed, prepared, consumed, and disposed.
  • We believe in building a greater nutritional knowledge and awareness throughout our community, acknowledging the important link between the foods we eat and our health.
  • We believe our support of locally based small and mid-scale farms, as well as local food processing and distribution, will benefit our community.
  • We believe our food supply should be produced and processed in sustainable ways that prevent the exploitation of farmers, workers, and natural resources, and prevents the cruel treatment of animals.
  • We believe in supporting community-based initiatives that address hunger.

Learn how your organization can endorse these principles here.

And come out to the monthly Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition meetings to help manifest these principles!

Click here to subscribe to receive meeting reminders and periodic updates from FIN.

Preserving farmland: Use it or lose it!

ImageUrban and Peri-Urban Land Use:  In and Around Louisville, Kentucky

Very rough draft prepared by Andrew for discussion purposes (January 2014)

To live, we must eat. To eat, we must grow food. Soil, water, sunshine and skilled labor are needed to grow food. Growing food requires land where plants can root and animals can roam. Without land, eating is not guaranteed. Many people know this well as nearly one billion people go hungry and 25,000 people die of hunger every day. Things in the United States are not yet nearly as bad as many parts of the world yet, but millions here experience hunger and hundreds of millions of Americans are malnourished.

In the U.S. and in Louisville there are competing pressures on land and these pressures will continue to increase. Because it is unsustainable, the fossil fuel-dependent industrial food system now producing nearly all of our food will begin to fall apart. High petroleum prices will make shipping foods across the country and around the world impractical. Having ample land, in and around cities, to grow food will become critical. Land could continue to be privatized and accumulate in fewer hands. But if we are to avoid shortages and increasing maldistribution of food, access and ownership must be fairly and widely available to people using it for sustainable and life-giving purposes. We must begin moving in this direction now so we can weather the mounting economic, environmental and climate crises coming our way.

Statewide, Kentucky has about 85,500 farms comprising 13.9 million acres in farmland. If an acre of land can, depending on the diet, support between 0.5 and 8 people, Kentucky’s current farmland could support between 6.95 million on the low end (typical meat, dairy, junk food diet) and 13.9 million people and 111.2 million people eating a plant-based diet of intensively raised crops. The latter figure is more than 1/3 the population of the United States. In 2010, Kentucky has a population of 4.34 million. So, there is enough land, but much of it is used to fatten cattle, which get deported for slaughter. How can we make better use of the land both in the city and in the surrounding countryside?

Peri-Urban and Rural Land

Rural and Peri-Urban Land Use Policy Recommendations:  

1) Access to land for current and future food production

2) Establish Urban Growth Boundary ~ Agricultural Preservation Zoning

3) Establish agricultural land trust to permanently protect food production land within the UGB (Land Banks, Land Trusts, alternative holding institutions, such as churches or non-profit corporations)

  • Transfer or Purchase of Development Rights ~

4) Develop incentives for the lease of land to small farmers, and the donation or sale of agricultural land to a land trust or public agency

  • Loan guarantees by the government and banks for financially limited future farmers and family farmers wishing to expand
  • Promote multipurpose land use at the margins of the UGB that offers flexibility, but maintains land as a working farm

5) Promote access to land, capital, training and direct marketing opportunities for new and existing farmers so the food production with be viable and the land will be sustainable into the future

6) Promote and continue to educate policy makers and the community so people are aware of and support protections of land for food protection.

Urban Land

There are thousands of vacant properties and uncounted acres of residential, church, school, municipal and other land within Louisville limits that could be used for food production.  Regarding vacant properties, Louisville needs fundamental changes in the foreclosure culture to increase the acres in our land bank so they can be put to productive use. Metro agencies, such as codes and regulations, zoning, and planning should, partner with FIN, CFA and other groups to devise ways (including appropriate zoning) to make land available to organizations and individuals for growing food and starting food-related enterprises. The Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition is eager to partner around the following food and land use objective:

Urban Land Use Policy Recommendation

Inventory and increase acreage of urban food producing land by promoting regulations, zoning, incentives and disincentives that enhance acreage of urban farms, orchards, community gardens, parking easement gardens, and school gardens.

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RESOURCES

Policy Guide on Agricultural Land Preservation

Montgomery County Agricultural Preservation

Lexington Land Use: Maintaining a Balance Between Urban and Rural Uses

Development with farmland in background.

SMART GROWTH TOOLKIT :  Preserving Agricultural Land and Farming Opportunities

Modules, Case Studies, Slide Show and Model Bylaws from Massachusetts