Rustbelt Radicalism: A Decade of Food Systems Planning Practice in Buffalo, New York (USA)

  • Samina Raja University at Buffalo
  • Diane Picard Massachusetts Avenue Project
  • Solhyon Baek University at Buffalo
  • Christina Delgado University at Buffalo
Keywords: Food System Planning, Food Planning, Food Policy, Massachusetts Avenue Project, Rustbelt Radicalism, Urban Planning, Buffalo, Urban Agriculture, Zoning, Land Use Planning, Activism


Pressure is increasing from nongovernmental actors to incorporate food more concretely into municipal policies and plans. A qualitative case study of Buffalo, New York (USA), demonstrates that incremental, persistent food systems practice and advocacy by nonstate actors, a group we call the "rustbelt radicals," followed by their collective engagement with municipal planning, can lead to transformations in municipal policy and planning for strengthening food systems. The paper concludes with seven factors that enable "rustbelt radicals" to transform local food systems plans and policies.

Author Biographies

Samina Raja, University at Buffalo
Department of Urban and Regional Planning; Community Health And Health Behavior; 05p Hayes Hall Annex C; University at Buffalo; Buffalo, New York 14260 USA; +1-716-829-5881.
Diane Picard, Massachusetts Avenue Project
Massachusetts Avenue Project.
Solhyon Baek, University at Buffalo
University at Buffalo.
Christina Delgado, University at Buffalo
University at Buffalo.
Open Call Papers