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SECTION FIVE Community Health and Policy Perspectives It is clear that urban agriculture is about more than just producing food. Urban agriculture is about building community, reconnecting people to their culture and spirituality, improving neighborhood and individual health, and supporting food sovereignty and justice for farmers and communities. These intangible outcomes are very difficult to quantify for planners, funders, and government officials, but this does not make them less real or important. In chapter 13, Cohen and Wijsman present case studies and strategies for blending practice and policy changes so that policy supports successful practices. In a field as diverse and rapidly evolving as urban agriculture, this dialogue between policy and practice is necessary and highly productive for the future of urban-agriculture practices. No one set of policies will be conducive for all cities, hence the need for a rich literature of case studies, historical examples, and recommendations for best practices in different situations. Chrisinger and Golden, in chapter 14, review the current state of our knowledge about urban agriculture and public health and then describe possible policy and practices that work through urban agriculture to improve human 214 community health and policy perspectives health. Various practitioners and audiences will find this work useful in considering how to design health interventions, tailor evaluations, or form reasonable expectations about the effects of urban agriculture in their own communities. In chapter 15, Day Farnsworth provides clear recommendations for organizing food policy councils effectively as well as insights into what types of policies are needed in different contexts. Her work points directly to food production, whether by insects, animals, or the soil. Her point is clear, that food production can be facilitated by a non-food-production organization that locates production in a larger context. In chapter 16, de la Salle reviews linkages between urban agriculture, the built environment, and population health. Her case studies, review of design approaches, and discussion of best practices provide options for practitioners seeking to improve community health through the built environment and urban agriculture. The chapters in section five seek to provide guidance for addressing and incorporating these associated benefits of urban agriculture into planning processes. Clearly we need better metrics for outcomes such as improved human health. Through more holistic metrics we can relate health to systems change and the collective impacts of many organizations, institutions, and individuals working on food systems issues. This section of the book provides concepts and examples of activities related to how circumstances, social expectations and pressures, and other institutional spheres, like the legal system and hopes for public health, influence the people doing urban food system activities. ...


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