Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Mark Gordon


The distance between farms and cities and the limited access that some residents have to fresh foods can be detrimental to a city's capacity to feed people over time. This study addressed the under-studied topic of urban farming as a secondary food source, specifically by exploring the opportunities and limitations of urban farming in a large Northeastern city. Brundtland's food policy was the pivotal theory supporting food production to end global starvation, and was the link between environmental conservation and human survival. The research question for this study examined the potential food policy opportunities and limitations that assist urban farms as a supplemental food source. Twenty stakeholders from the public (6), nonprofit (7), private (3), and academic (4) sectors formed the purposeful snowball sample in this case study. Data were collected through open-ended interviews, which were then subjected to an iterative and inductive coding strategy. The significant finding of this study is that while food policy supported urban farms as a secondary food source in a way consistent with Brundtland's theory, local food alone was inadequate to feed its urban population. Other key findings revealed that food policies that influenced land use, food production, and procurement presented unique challenges in each sector. Existing food production policies such as zoning regulations, permitting processes, and public funding benefited one sector over another. The study contributes to social change by exploring food policies that encourage partnerships between sector stakeholders; urban, rural, and suburban farmers; and city residents that foster alternative and sustainable food production in the urban setting.