Mapping for Change in Oakland
Land use shapes communities, open spaces, boundaries, borders, and allowable activities; it is all crucial to defining the very spaces we exist in. It influences the status quo, culture and society. The lines drawn on a map define our public lives. As does who they are drawn by. Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) believes it is essential that community members have a say in those lines and in what happens between them.
We have therefore embarked on a process to designate food space across the city. We have organized with students at Merritt College, The West Oakland Indicators Project, The Greenbelt Alliance, residents, the City of Oakland, and others to make recommendations about the future of food in public space. In the face of rampant development and increasing gentrification in our neighborhoods, our goal is to ensure access to local food for all people of Oakland by making public space available for people to grow and harvest their own food in a city where one-third of the people face food insecurity. This is also about stepping up to determine how our neighborhoods are shaped and making sure that we have a say in how land and resources are used in our community. This is about food, justice and ensuring Oakland residents who are most impacted by food insecurity have a hand in shaping this city.
Planning for Food Security & Urban Greening
The proposed “Edible Greenways” are part of a broader City-led effort to expand the Priority Conservation Area (PCA) to increase urban green space to mitigate climate change, support biodiversity, and improve the quality of life in Oakland.OFPC’s Urban Agriculture Working Group has submitted a map that resulted from community process to the City of Oakland designating new urban “Edible Greenways” as part of the PCA. Edible Greenways are spaces for accessible, safe, and permitted urban agriculture located throughout the city to increase food security, support local food production, and improve community health.
Our proposed plan calls for a goal that a minimum of 10% of the existing parklands be made available for community-accessible urban agriculture
What does this mean for the people of Oakland?
By design, the Edible Greenways are accessible public gardens throughout all districts of Oakland. This means that people will be able to walk or bike to nearby parks and grow and harvest their own food, in their neighborhoods.
Our proposal also calls for equity in urban greening efforts; the neighborhoods most impacted by environmental pollution must be prioritized.
Edible Greenways Map
[Click to view the Edible Greenways Map in PDF format]
Campaign Update: What’s Next?
Last week these recommendations were presented to the City of Oakland Planning Department. Next, the proposal and map will be presented for community feedback before being sent on to the Planning Commission, and then City Council. We will post updates on our blog about ways to support the effort and submit your feedback to the City.
Urban Agriculture Working Group
This effort has been the result of a diverse and committed group of volunteers on our Urban Agriculture Working Group. We are grateful for their time and professional expertise in shaping this proposal, and will rely on their crucial guidance in the ongoing development and implementation of the Edible Greenways Map.
Esperanza Pallana, OFPC Council Director
Rob Bennaton, UC Cooperative Extension Alameda County Director/Bay Area Urban Agriculture Advisor and UC Liaison for OFPC
Cat Chang, Catherine Chang Design Studio: City Council District 1
Lisa Chen, San Francisco Planning Department: City Council District 1
Brian Fulfrost, Fulfrost and Associates, GIS | Remote Sensing | Web/Mobile Mapping: City Council District 1
Melosa Granda, City Attorney’s Office, City Council District 6
Grey Kolevzon, PUEBLO & Merritt College, City Council District 1
David Ralston, Oakland Department of Economic and Workforce Development, City Council District 2