Integrating Spatial Technologies in Urban Environments for Food Security: A Vision for Economic, Environmental, and Social Responsibility in South Bend, Indiana

Integrating Spatial Technologies in Urban Environments for Food Security: A Vision for Economic, Environmental, and Social Responsibility in South Bend, Indiana

Edwin Joseph (Indiana University – South Bend, USA) and Elizabeth O'Dea (Indiana University – South Bend, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 37
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0942-4.ch012
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Abstract

Food security for the urban poor has been an important topic for both developed and developing countries over the last 15 years. Although South Bend Indiana is a city in a developed country, declining economic circumstances have caused the city to show significant urban decay somewhat similar to some cities in developing countries. In this chapter, we explore South Bend's history and economic development strategies, and review practices aimed at strengthening food security for the urban poor. The chapter documents how numerous disparate organizations have been trying to help alleviate urban poverty and hunger, and reviews previous strategies used to foster sustainable growth and development. The integration of spatial technologies will become a key factor for promoting community social networks, participatory planning, and collaboration. The case is presented for the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and associated technologies to help organizations, community leaders, local organizations, city planners, higher education institutions and the urban poor, work together to alleviate poverty and malnutrition through networking and sustainable urban agriculture.
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Urban Food Systems

The term “food system” describes the complex and interconnected activities of agricultural food production, processing, marketing, consumption, and disposal. It is an emerging discipline that brings together scientists and humanists to help address the cultural, social, ecological, physical, ethical and political aspects of food (Berman, 2011). According to Berman (2011), there is no single accepted definition for local food systems, but it is often defined as an area within a 400-mile radius of food origin. The scale of urban agriculture can vary from less than an acre of land worked by a handful of people to several acres.

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