Local Food Systems Video and Microsite
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has launched a new microsite and video to help support local food systems in metropolitan Chicago at www.cmap.illinois.gov/food. Support for local food systems is one of 12 recommendation areas in the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.The microsite describes local food systems, including local and national trends, benefits, and supportive actions that local governments can take. The site has a range of resources, such as CMAP's new two-part guide to help local governments incorporate local food in their comprehensive plans and ordinances, and a printable brochure that can be distributed as an educational outreach tool.
This is a significant economic issue. Of the $48 billion Illinois residents spend on food every year, $46 billion is leaving the state. Based on estimates from other regions, a 20-percent increase in local food production and purchasing could generate approximately $2.5 billion in economic activity within the region, according to GO TO 2040. Demand for local food is already strong. Demand has grown 260 percent over the last ten years, and nearly three-quarters of adults prefer restaurants that serve locally grown food. More and more entrepreneurs are responding to that demand, including many local chefs as well as major corporations like Wal-Mart and Meijer's.
Through the agency's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, CMAP has been working with nonprofit, public, and private partners throughout Lake County to explore potential for a more sustainable food system there.
The LTA home page has details of activities sponsored by the HUD Sustainable Communities grant to CMAP for support of community projects that advance the principles of GO TO 2040. Planning assistance and grants for local projects across metropolitan Chicago are now available through the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Community Planning Program and CMAP Local Technical Assistance Program at www.rtachicago.com/applications.
An interactive map of local case studies describes projects and people that exemplify the goals and objectives of GO TO 2040.
CMAP's Local Ordinances and Toolkits program provides resources to municipalities interested in pursuing policies that are aligned with GO TO 2040 recommendations.