The following resources were produced through the Community Food Systems courses taught since 2006 by Tanya Denckla Cobb and Tim Beatley in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Contact Tanya if you have specific quesitons or would like to obtain course syllabi.

The Community Food Systems academic course offerings include the following, with one offered each Spring semester, along with one during the Morven Summer Institute. The  course titles and focuses are:

  • Community Food Systems: Assessment
  • Community Food System: Policy
  • Community Food Systems: Global-Local
  • Community Food Systems: Food Heritage Planning
  • Community Food Systems: Farmers Markets and Applied Food Systems Research (Morven Summer Institute) (Co-taught with Paul Freedman, professor in politics)
  • Community Food Systems: Food Justice (Co-taught with Kendra Hamilton, lecturer in women, gender and sexuality)
  • Community Food Systems: Regional Food Heritage Inquiry (Summer Session independent study) (Co-taught with Kendra Hamilton, lecturer in women, gender and sexuality)

2013 Community Food Systems Class: Food Justice

This class is an academic engagement class co-taught with Kendra Hamilton, UVa lecturer in women, gender and sexuality. Students tested a newly developed Food Justice Audit in the City of Charlottesville, specifically focussing on four neighborhoods: 10th and Page; Friendship Court/ Ridge Street; Belmont/Southwood; and Fifeville. The Audit has two equally important components. Students begin with the “baseline audit” in which they research the answer to 100+ questions about the City’s policy and program framework for food justice, while at the same time they are becoming familiar with their neighborhood by performing service at a neighborhood agency. The second phase is when, after completing their baseline audit, they conduct a “life history” interview of one resident, as well as interviews with several neighborhood “thought leaders,” to elicit community ideas and recommendations for City consideration.

Final Papers:

Final Presentatons:



2013 Community Food Systems: Regional Food Heritage Inquiry

This class is a 3-credit “structured independent study” during Summer Sessions I and II, and co-taught with Kendra Hamilton. Inspired by the Virginia Food Heritage Project,  students work independently, with meetings at intervals through summer sessions I and II, for training in qualitative interviews, podcast production, ethnographic writing, and mapping tools. Students will investigate specific themes of food heritage evolution in the Central Virginia region. Their work will be published on the Virginia Food Heritage website and archived to inform future initiatives.



Farmers Market and Applied Food System Research

MORVEN SUMMER INSTITUTE —   Community Food Systems Class: Farmers Market and Applied Food System Research This class – an academic community engagement course – is co-taught with Paul Freedman, professor of politics, during the May Summer Session at Morven. In this class, students learn the rigors of designing a sound research survey design, using the lens of farmers markets to investigate and address the challenges of growing sustainable local food systems.



2013 Community Food Systems: Food Justice

This class is an academic engagement class co-taught with Kendra Hamilton, UVa lecturer in women, gender and sexuality. Students tested a newly developed Food Justice Audit in the City of Charlottesville, specifically focussing on four neighborhoods: 10th and Page; Friendship Court/ Ridge Street; Belmont/Southwood; and Fifeville. The Audit has two equally important components. Students begin with the “baseline audit” in which they research the answer to 100+ questions about the City’s policy and program framework for food justice, while at the same time they are becoming familiar with their neighborhood by performing service at a neighborhood agency. The second phase is when, after completing their baseline audit, they conduct a “life history” interview of one resident, as well as interviews with several neighborhood “thought leaders,” to elicit community ideas and recommendations for City consideration.



2012: Virginia Food Heritage – Planning for Sustainability and Resilience

This class – a global health and community engagement course – examines the question of food system planning through the lens of food heritage. To our knowledge, it is the first such class in food system planning in the U.S.  (Please let us know if you’re doing something similar!)

Using case studies, student teams developed a range of planning options for advancing our regional food system by supporting our region’s unique, place-based food heritage. See below for a list of the proposals students developed, with links to their papers and presentations.

Student teams also developed the first set of Central Virginia Food Heritage Short Films,  a series of 3-minute films based on interviews with community elders about our unique local foods and place-based food heritage.

This project was suggested, encouraged and supported by the Virginia Food Heritage Project, a long-term research project initiated by the IEN in collaboration with community partners, with funding from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. The class was supported by a grant from UVa Academic Community Engagement, through the Office of University Community Partnerships at the University of Virginia.

Food Heritage Innovation – Ideas for Advancing Food Heritage and Economic Development in Central Virginia

Food Production – Presentation Slides (PDF)

Food Processing – Presentation Slides (PDF)

Food Retail – Presentation Slides (PDF)

Food Preparation – Presentation Slides (PDF)

Food Celebrations – Presentation Slides (PDF)

Food Heritage at the University of Virginia – Presentation Slides (PDF)

 Central Virginia Food Heritage Short Films + Interview Stories

You can watch the short films that our students produce online on the YouTube channel for the Virginia Food Heritage project.

The films and short stories based on the interviews are also posted online on the Virginia Food Heritage Project website.

 

 



2011: Global-Local

In this class – a global health and community engagement course – three student teams investigated the question of access to fresh, nutritious food in the City of Charlottesville, through the lens of the community food safety net, food production, and health.
At the request of a community collaborative in Southwest Virginia working on regional economic development, two additional student teams conducted a preliminary food assessment for this region.
Final Reports (in PDF):

Final PPT Presentations (in PDF)



2010: Policy

This class – a community engagement course – was the first to test our newly developed Food Policy Audit, to develop specific policy proposals for local comprehensive plans, building on the work of previous classes. They worked in teams in the six jurisdictions within the Thomas Jefferson Planning District, comprised of Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, Greene County, Fluvanna County, Louisa County, and Nelson County. The Food Policy Audit involved both basic research and community engagement.

FOOD POLICY AUDIT:

Presentation to Community:
Final Reports:


2009: Assessment

This class – a community engagement course – worked on developing indicators and benchmarks to assess the performance of a community food system. Each student teams worked on a specific aspect, or sector, of the local food system, which was defined as our Thomas Jefferson Planning District and comprised of five counties and the City of Charlottesville.

Summary Presentations to the Community (.ppt)
Final reports (.pdf)
Short 3-5 minute videos about food heritage


2008: Global-Local

This course – both a global health and community engagement course – examining healthy communities through the lens of healthy food systems. Students developed case studies of food systems in cities and villages throughout the world, and examined the global-local connections of our regional food supply. Where possible, students attempted to map the origins of inputs into our regional food system. Student projects identified specific ways to strengthen the local food system, as well as ways that the local food system might strengthen its global ties through fair trade, microfinancing, or other means.

The final class report analyzed the global-local inputs into segments of the Charlottesville region food system. Specifically, student analysis focussed on these specific components of our food system: a local farm, two local food distributors, two local restaurants, the University of Virginia dining system, the Jefferson Area Board of Aging (JABA) senior food system, and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.



2007: Policy

This class – a community engagement course – took on specific projects to deepen student understanding of local regulatory policies’ impacts on food systems. Student teams worked on developing and refining possible policies to remove barriers or facilitate a more secure and sustainable food system. Their work involved research as well as community engagement.



2006: Assessment

This was the first year that we offered community food planning. The students conducted a preliminary assessment of the local Charlottesville regional food system, and presented their findings to the community. The success of this community presentation resulted in this this becoming a permanent feature of the food planning course. Since then each class has presented its findings to the community at the end of the semester, inviting participants in the community engagement portion of the class to attend, as well as local government, and the community at large.