On Wednesday, October 26, the Office of
Sustainability hosted a public meeting to review the progress of the
Sustainability Plan update. The event kicked off with a video created by New Lens. The video highlights the philosophy underpinning the Plan: that every story counts. The video also focuses on the extensive
outreach and engagement process currently underway.
The video was followed by a report on the
preliminary results of an ongoing
community-wide survey. The survey asks residents to share
what is most important to them in their community, and asks them to share ideas
on how community institutions and individuals can better work together to improve
In order to gather feedback and distribute the
survey throughout the City, the Office of Sustainability recruited and trained
126 community residents as Sustainability Ambassadors this year to lead the
engagement process. The ambassadors distributed the survey at recreation centers, farmers markets, at their dining
room tables, and at other community events. Through this process, the Office of
Sustainability hopes to record and integrate the voices that represent our City.
During the second half of the meeting, attendees
formed small groups to discuss outreach strategies for the Sustainability Plan,
including successes and challenges faced. The focus of the Sustainability Plan
update this year is equity. The Office of Sustainability hopes to hear the voices of all Baltimore residents, especially those in disinvested communities whose voices
are not often heard. The lively discussion turned to this issue – how to ensure
that the equity goals of the plan are met.
Next, the Office of Sustainability plans to continue
resident engagement and stakeholder meetings for the next few weeks to gather
additional feedback and determine priorities for the Plan. The draft of the updated
Sustainability Plan will be released for public comment in early 2017, and
a final plan will be released in the Spring of 2017.
your voice heard by
taking the survey, and stay informed as the draft plan is prepared, or join
us as an implementation partner. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for
more information and to get connected.
This year, Baltimore received top honors at the inaugural Milan
Pact Awards. The awards
were announced October 14 in Rome at the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Mayors Summit.
Baltimore Food Policy Initiative was recognized for its intergovernmental
collaboration that has transformed a set of food systems recommendations
into action and has used that momentum to create a movement much bigger than
just one City agency, establishing Baltimore as a national leader and model to
address healthy food access and local food systems.
More than 30 cities were assessed
by an international committee of experts. The criteria that guided the
selection of winners included:
capability for replication or adaptation of policy in
degree to which the policy has been integrated with other categories of
food policy or practice.
the level of innovation compared to the known
state of urban food systems development.
the degree at which the practice or policy substantially addresses social and economic equity for vulnerable populations
in the target jurisdiction.
policy or practice developed with active participation of actors outside
of local governments such as civil society and private
Several other cities were recognized
for innovative food strategies:
Mexico City’s “Community Dining Rooms Program” has set
up more than 200 canteens throughout the city to offer affordable meals.
Mexico City and Baltimore were the two cities honored with monetary prizes to further their work.
Six additional cities worldwide received special mention for their work:
Vancouver for the Vancouver Food Strategy; Birmingham for its projects to fight childhood obesity; Lusaka for the “Women Groups economical empowerment”; Quito for the AGRUPAR programme on urban agriculture; Toronto
for “Grab Some Good”, a collaborative
initiative aiming at bringing healthy food to underserved communities; and Riga for an innovative method to treat and reuse food waste.
Urban Food Policy Pact is the first international
agreement on urban food policies. The non-binding pact, signed by 120 cities in
2015, encourages cities to develop sustainable local food systems and to share
their experiences with other cities.