Exploring local food sustainability potential and ‘Agrarian Urbanism’ in the regional city of Dubbo

Debra Thompson, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc.
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings for the Planning, Participation and Progress at the Australian Regional Development Conference, 2016, pp. 59 - 75 (17)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Rapid urbanisation as a consequence of population growth is likely to reduce the availability of valuable agricultural land areas for food production. Two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2030. Cities around the world are integrating local food production capabilities within built environments to create food secure and environmentally sustainable habitats. Regional cities with comparatively less population have a significant potential and distinct advantage to incorporate these measures early on in planning for the urban areas. In this paper, a review is conducted on local food production policies and practices in relevant cities. ‘Agrarian Urbanism’ approach to the master planning of new developments can protect valuable agricultural land and natural areas. A real-world case study that applies ‘Agrarian Urbanism’ principles is analysed. Dubbo, one of the most important regional cities of Orana region in New South Wales in Australia is selected as a case study for research analysis. Using Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods, current local food production potential, and its capacity to meet the annual food (vegetable) demand of Dubbo City are estimated and examined through four scenarios. The local food production typologies that could be embedded in the urban fabric are explored, and recommendations are formulated. Research outcomes suggest that Dubbo city has a reasonable prospect to grow into a sustainable regional city of future. Collaborative efforts of governments, private, non-profit and farming organisations, industries and residents would be important for the uptake.
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