Taking food systems planning to the world

Photograph of Samina Raja and her Food Lab team presenting at a conference in Quito, Ecuador.

Samina Raja and her Food Lab team traveled to Quito, Ecuador, this past fall to deliver food systems planning training to community leaders from around the world. 

UB’s Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab delivered tools and techniques in community-based food systems planning to leaders from around the world as part of the Habitat III Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador. The global event hosted by the United Nations takes place only once every 20 years.

The standing room-only training session, conducted by UB’s Food Lab and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sought to fill a global gap in locally-driven food systems planning based on models of success in North America, particularly in Buffalo and Seattle. 

Food Lab director Samina Raja led the session with several members of her research team. Among them was Alexandra Judelsohn, a recent MUP grad: “I was honored to present on policies put in place in the City of Buffalo and Western New York that support our food system," says Judelsohn. "It was exciting to take my experience and knowledge to such a significant, global event."

The four-day Habitat III conference drew 40,000 world leaders, city mayors, academics and grassroots activists, among other participants, to ratify the New Urban Agenda
to set global standards in sustainable urban development
and rethink the way we build, manage, and live in cities. The urbanization stakes are high: Conference organizers estimate that by mid-century, 4 out of every 5 people in the world might be living in cities and towns.

Visit foodsystemsplanning.ap.buffalo.edu to access training resources.