Towards an Integrated, Critical Approach to Municipal Food Systems Planning in Calgary, Alberta


  • Miho Lowan-Trudeau University of Calgary
  • Noel Keough University of Calgary
  • Melissa Ayers


Food systems, Food systems planning, Food policy council, Inclusive governance, Food equity


In response to socioecological food systems concerns, municipalities—including the focus of this study, Calgary, Alberta—are increasingly integrating food systems into their planning processes and policies. This paper outlines the findings from a research initiative aimed to integrate food systems planning into a forthcoming revision of Calgary’s municipal-wide planning document to encourage a just, sustainable, and healthy food system for the city. The research methodology combines qualitative methods including a literature review to determine current food systems policy strategies and a case study approach to assess Calgary’s current food systems and policy context. Using a constant comparative approach to the data collected, three areas of recommendation emerged: the need for a systems approach to the integration of food planning within planning documents; a greater emphasis on inclusive governance practices and on critical equity approaches to food systems planning; and finally, a need for further resource allocation and evaluative processes.

Author Biography

Noel Keough, University of Calgary

Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape