So yesterday I gave a talk to thirty people about Food Hubs in Casey. Kirsten and the team at Melbourne University have been working on a food hub concept for the city for a number of years in response to a growing disconnect between people and how their food is produced and the huge problem of urban spawl.
Hundreds of thousands of people are moving to the suburbs of Melbourne each year and the housing market is booming .
And yesterday I was given a tour of the problem, mile after mile of soleless, car dependant suburbia. Huge 'developments' with few community facilities; homogenous drive-in shopping centres; large homes squeezed onto plots without gardens and all the social isolation and lack of community spirit that puts infamous American 1950's planning to shame.
The film: The End of Suburbia has clearly not been watched by city planners, or rather the politicians who are fuelling a massive property bubble. This is bad enough, but this sprawl is being built on prime agricultural land and small family farms understandably sell up with booming land prices.
So until politicians wake up to the problems they are creating – and Ive not meet anyone who is hopeful about this, the VEIL team with local residents have been working on developing a Food Hub to support remaining farmers and offer a shopping alternative. And I'll say more about this in my next blog piece.