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Catalysing change? A critical exploration of the impacts of a community food initiative on people, place and prosperity

Farrier, Alan and Dooris, Mark and Morley, Adrian (2019) Catalysing change? A critical exploration of the impacts of a community food initiative on people, place and prosperity. Landscape and Urban Planning, 192. p. 103663. ISSN 0169-2046 (In Press)

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Abstract

Using food to create edible landscapes, support inclusive community development and build sustainability and local resilience, Incredible Edible Todmorden [IET] is a place-based movement implementing its three ‘spinning plates’ model to develop and harness local community, business and learning assets. This paper reports on a mixed-methods study that used a Theory of Change workshop, interviews, focus groups and surveys to evaluate IET’s social, economic and environmental impacts and assess its wider potential as a community-led framework for improving wellbeing. Whilst highlighting a vein of dissent, cynicism and resistance to change, the findings overwhelmingly demonstrated that IET has enhanced the wellbeing of Todmorden as a ‘place’ and promoted the wellbeing of its people, in part through changing their relationships with their locality. It has also stimulated awareness of and engagement with local and global sustainability concerns, fostering grassroots activism and engagement with policy and planning governance systems. Alongside this, it has developed a‘model’that has catalysed the global Incredible Edible movement, indicating its potential to be successfully implemented in diverse contexts. This suggests that changing landscapes by opening up public realm and other assets for food growing and wider community expression can be an important and holistic place-making tool

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