The Portland region is internationally known for its vibrant food culture, micro brews, and Pinot Noir. Food has become a major source of tourism. This first of its kind project was a collaboration between Portland State University, Oregon State University, the City of Damascus and our firm.
The project documents the $4.8 billion a year opportunity to substitute regionally produced food for food currently imported from outside the region. As part of the project we define a sustainable foodshed vision, the size and scope of the food economy, conducted outreach to growers to test our thinking, and developed a toolkit for planners and policy makers to strengthen the regional food economy of local economy. Major challenges we overcame were the lack of local food economic development strategies and a land use system resistant to accommodating urban and metropolitan food production. Because of our strong history with the Oregon Land Use planning system we can credibly address these challenges. The interest in the regional food economy has expanded, especially in Clackamas County with the creation of the Food System ONEStop virtual hub to support local farmers.