The Creative Economy: Nashville Case Study

English: Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creative Placemaking has come of its own within the last year, with art and culture at the heart of a portfolio of integrated strategies to drive community transformation through creativity and diversity. The understanding of the value capture of creative placemaking is thanks in no small part to the work of organizations like ArtPlace in the US, the do-it-yourself Artscape in Canada, and private practitioners like Joe Nickol.

Joe will lead this webinar on an exploration of recent breakthroughs in the creative economy, using his UDA work in Nashville as a case study to the elements of creative cities and how they drive innovative economies. In Joe’s words: ”What about our cities enables and sustains this creativity is not a world where there is an artist colony and a separate place that everyone else occupies but a common set of town-building parameters that we all need in order to exercise the inherited or acquired creativity we have to offer. The same set of physical characteristics and relationships that allow a city to harbor world-class music, for example, are equally necessary to develop the newest technologies or innovative economies we thrive on.”

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Pesticide firms showcase bee-protection

bee eating

bee eating (Photo credit: acidpix)

Monsanto’s “Bee Summits” and Bayer AG’s “Bee care centre” are the latest examples of how pesticide makers are competing to showcase their goodwill to policymakers in Europe and the US that they are taking the necessary steps to protect bee populations. The companies say their pesticides are not the problem, but critics say science shows the opposite, EurActiv reported.

The European Union announced earlier this month it would ban the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” used for corn and other crops as well as on home lawns and gardens. The ban is in place for two years.

Similar constraints in the United States could cost manufacturers millions of dollars in sales.

As a result, Monsanto is hosting a “Bee Summit.” Bayer AG is breaking ground on a “Bee Care Centre.” And Sygenta AG is funding grants for research into the accelerating demise of honeybees in the United States.

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Forth Valley Food Links

English: Fish frying at a local food joint.

English: Fish frying at a local food joint. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forth Valley Food Links came into being in June 2002 with its mission to help develop the local food sector in Forth Valley and realise the concept of local food for local people.
Of particular concern is increasing the availability of locally grown produce, but until the longer-term (but on-going) efforts to encourage more local growing and supply ‘bear fruit’, the project must supplement the currently limited local production with produce from farm shops and wholesalers in the area. However the project continues to encourage farmers to look at ways of supplying more of their existing meat, fish, eggs, dairy and processed farm products to markets and outlets within Forth Valley rather than further afield.
In partnership with a variety of local food producers, suppliers, retailers, community groups, agencies and other organisations throughout Forth Valley the project aims to develop sustainable, community-oriented food growing, distribution and consumption.
The emphasis is on increasing the availability of locally-grown fruit, vegetables, meats and other fresh produce, by encouraging greater diversity of production and seeking ways of channelling more of it directly to local markets and outlets.
A Key part of Forth Valley Food Links work concerns the concept of sustainable food production, distribution and consumption. The remit includes a commitment to try to reduce ‘food miles’ through the projects’ activities.

For more information, please visit FOOD VISION

Experiences from the US

The Food Tent

The Food Tent (Photo credit: Jon Person)

Farmers Market: an essential cog in local food network
After various negotiations, the market opened using a small, unmarked paved area adjacent to tennis courts at the city’s East State Street park, near where the Athens Community Center now sits. The first market, held on a summer day in 1972, drew participation from three producers; on the following week, there were five. That summer, market participation peaked at a dozen vendors, mostly vegetable producers.
At the Athens Farmers Market this past Saturday, it proved difficult to count the number of producers and vendors participating in the parking lot of The Market on State mall, where the market relocated to in 1998. It still runs on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. year round, and the same times on Wednesdays except during the cold winter months. In recent years, during the winter, the Saturday market has run on Saturdays with some vendors moving inside the mall.

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The Local Farmers Market – A Lot More Than Just Great Food
In many places across the U.S.A. there is a growing fascination within the local communities that comes with urban gardening and the local food market. This may seem strange at first because the local market is a lot more expensive that going to your local “Super Mart” for your groceries but given a little bit closer of a look, you can see why this is becoming more and more popular.
First of all the quality of the food at the local market is flat out about ten folds better. Not only that, but there is a certain amount of pride invested in the food as it is personally grown or created, and taken care of.

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Fair Food Network

English: Logo for Food Network

English: Logo for Food Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fair Food Network is a US national nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system. We work at the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and social equity to provide access to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities. We implement model programs and bring the right people together to generate ideas, share resources, and promote policy changes to repair our food system. In the United States, we are faced with a broken food system that limits access to healthy, fresh, and sustainably grown food to many low-income families and under-served communities. We also see the brokenness of this system through the prevalence of diet-related illnesses and the steady increase of obesity in these communities, and the number of people who now rely on government food assistance.
Our land has also suffered from the broken system, as agricultural policies and practices have left areas of our planet literally lifeless. Unsustainable practices are the norm in our current food and agriculture system, in which the average plate of food eaten in our homes or restaurants travels 1,500 miles from where the food is grown.
But in the midst of the brokenness there is both opportunity and hope; hope in the fact that there is a movement underway to take back and re-design our food systems on a local level that can influence and advance food system approaches both nationally and globally.

Visit: Fair Food Network