The purpose of this website is to serve as an accessible guide for supporting community-based food economies, useable by Practical Visionaries Steering Committee organizations and their members. We hope that the community leaders, families, neighbors, students, activists, business owners, employees, volunteers, and others participating in the Boston area food economy can use this website to better understand and shape their food system.
Practical Visionaries Field Project (PVFP) Project Summary
The goal of the 2013 Practical Visionaries Field Project (PVFP) is to develop a collection of resources for our Steering Committee members (Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and the Somerville Community Corporation (SCC)) that will enable these organizations to engage their constituents in discussion and action towards strengthening the regional food economy.
The Practical Visionaries Field Project team – 5 graduate students from Tufts University’s Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) program – are working toward Steering Committee goals for community engagement in food economy conversations. Through their Field Project (completed during the spring of 2013), they are creating popular education tools, gathering information on the food economies in Somerville, Roxbury, and Dorchester, and developing this website to support the long-term goal for more local, community-based food economies.
The three central project deliverables are:
Food systems and community economy curriculum that follows popular education pedagogy
These resources will provide 1) tools to evaluate the assets and needs of the food system and related economy and 2) a curriculum framework that engages community members in discussing how to strengthen community ownership and control of food production, distribution, processing, consumption and waste management. We expect that these tools will support our Steering Committee organizations’ existing efforts, identify new opportunities for community building, and encourage collaboration between partner groups.
Our work is motivated by a common vision for a more sovereign regional food economy. The assumption that communities possess the collective knowledge and solutions to positively shape their environment is central to this project and its outputs. Tools that we and others create and use can act as conduits for collective discussion, brainstorming and action-taking.
Please click here to learn more about the conclusions we have come to after developing and piloting some of these tools, as well as recommendations and next steps we suggest for future work.
Click here for Tips for Using this Website.