Politics of Governing Cities

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3Politics of Governing Cities

POLITICS OF GOVERNING CITIES

Politics of Governing Cities

Introduction

The increase in the number of people moving in to urban areas has a brought about a rapid growth of settlements in the urban region, creating a challenge in most regions even where there is adequate planning for development (Knox, 2014). Managing the life in urban areas is dependent on money and political will that is executed wisely. It is primarily the initiative of governments, both national and local to create policies that manage the process of urbanization in every given country. The existence of different histories, skills, resources and contexts make the required policies unique to given regions where the objectives and drawbacks differ as per the region. In order to achieve sustainable development in urban areas, the stakeholders need to create urban policies that go in line with changes from different factors that may have an effect on the urban settlement. An urban policy therefore involves a set of decisions made from a government entailed process which forms goals and objectives that promote productive and flexible urban development strategies to last for a long time (Blackman, 2013). This retro respect paper thus seeks to discuss an urban policy with austerity as a theme and aided with a case study of the Food Policy in Melbourne.

Melbourne Food Policy

The influence that food has over our lives is recognized by the city of Melbourne thus forming a major part of the policy statement. Food nourishes the body and the mind and furthermore contributes to the economy and fosters social growth. The local government of Melbourne is thus committed towards providing and promoting a food structure that is secure, a move that will consequently improve the health and well being of its society. The Food Policy has an outline that ensures the decisions made and the implementation are geared towards providing good food to all of Melbourne in the present and in the long term.

Given the quality of the food in Melbourne, it has been assumed that there supply may never run out. This has however changed owing to the fact the city is presently importing food from other countries. The climate has additionally changed owing to the overuse of the natural resources. There is enough evidence that the food structure is going through a negative change. The demand for food has gone up due to an increase in population but the rate at which the food resources are being used is enough cause for concern. There have been cases of obesity in the city and vast insecurity of food among challenged households such as those with low income, the elderly, single families and those who are physically and mentally challenged. The city of Melbourne through its Food Policy has a role to ensure that they provide a food structure that is sustainable and one that includes every individual. The execution of this role encompasses creating awareness among the people, providing leadership and advocacy strategies, managing infrastructure and engaging in research that helps to make proper decisions on the aspect of food and food supply.

Austerity and the Food Policy in Melbourne

Austerity can be defined as the encouragement of low spending by the government in order to reduce public expenditure. It is basically a move towards controlling the devastation that comes with massive urbanization (Guajardo, 2014). In the Food Policy put across by the City of Melbourne, there are evident examples of austerity urbanisms that are intended to manage the food system in the city. The rapid deterioration of food and the food insecurity being faced in Melbourne is an ultimate example of an urban crisis where the policy provided is supposed to manage the crisis. In the light of austerity as the main theme, the following sets of ambitions reached upon by the city are discussed to establish the moves made to ensure food security.

  1. Ensuring the Provision of Safe Food by Regulation

This measure put across by the local government portrays one form of austerity where the normal consumption of food by the public is limited to foods that the authorities view as safe. There are basic standards that exist on the handling of food which ensure that food is safe. These standards cut across the production of food, processing and consumption. The premise in which food is prepared is also affected by these standards. Standard regulation of food is worldwide and its implementation is a factor helps provide safe food for the residents in Melbourne. The city may additionally ban particular types of food to cope with issues of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes which are really high in the region.. This move cuts down on the waste of food by providing enough to sustain the residents and at the same time keep them healthy.

  1. Encouraging Environmentally Sustainable Food Practices

Sustainable food practices include the reduction in the consumption of animal products which emit a certain percentage of greenhouse gases. The result of the reduction will be a better climate that supports the growth of food. The second sustainable food practice involves reducing travel by consuming locally available foods and those in season (Spaargaren, 2013). The carbon imprint resulting from importing foods is thus reduced. Other sustainable practices include conservative farming where harsh chemicals that pollute water and soil stop being used to reduce the emission of green house gases (Reisch, 2013). Overall, these measures advocate for social responsibility to an economized lifestyle.

  1. Reduction of Food Wastage

Among the benefits of the reducing food waste are saving of money, conservation of the environment and possible support of the less privileged (Papargyropoulou, 2014). Planning, storage and preparation advice can be given to the residents of Melbourne through an awareness campaign to help them reduce the wastage food thus make a stable food structure.

  1. Investigation of Innovative Food System Solutions

Innovative food system solutions are mostly covered in agricultural practices where biotechnology is applied to come up with solutions to agricultural challenges. Genetic engineering has been among the strategies used in agricultural institutions to promote effective yields and breeds. Intensified farming has additionally been advised, diverse cropping and aquaculture to support growth of food (Ward, 2013). Innovative solutions on the food system cut down risks such as misuse of resources and the ultimate loss of food.

Analysis of Findings

The sets of ambitions explained above under the Melbourne Food Policy show the extreme economization intended to ensure the achievement of the policy. Their implementation is guaranteed to sustain Melbourne and ensure the physical and mental health of the city residents. The policy is additionally in time to assist the individuals within the city who have faced the challenge of lacking food since they are unable to afford to buy food. The detrimental factor however is that most of the practices explained are vastly dependent on the cooperation of individuals. The potential of Melbourne city to achieve a secure food system will thus rely on their ability to create awareness and educate its residents on the dire importance of sustainable food practices.

It is additionally important to stress that the Melbourne Food Policy bridges the gap between the food problems faced in the city and the solutions to these problems. A food policy environment has the benefits of ensuring rapid growth, creating jobs for the residents and ensuring an overall development strategy. The ultimate benefit would be an efficient price of food with all parties benefiting from the policy including the land.

Recommendations

Based on the discussion and the analysis of the Melbourne Food Policy, the following recommendations would assist in implementing the policy in order to achieve its objectives.

The City of Melbourne needs to ensure that other policies in its local government are streamlined with those of the urban policies so as to create massive interest in promoting a secure food system and additionally avoid conflict which may harm the implementation of the policy. The creation of massive interest serves to attract investors in programs such as research and the launch of innovative systems.

Access to healthy food for the Melbourne residents needs to be increased at efficient pricing to promote healthy eating. The stimulation of the demand for healthy foods can also be achieved through collaboration with community systems that are more likely to influence the residents. Furthermore, the city needs to create a food bank which will help to aid those lacking food and at the same time avoid wastage food through throwing it.

The regional food system needs to be strengthened by linking the processes of production, processing, distribution and consumption then the management of waste so that the system is lean and resources are conserved. Harmonization of these processes also provides deeper understanding of the food system and can be used in the creation of awareness to the residents.

Reference List

Blackman, T., 2013. Urban policy in practice. Routledge.

Guajardo, J., Leigh, D. and Pescatori, A., 2014. Expansionary austerity? International evidence.

Journal of the European Economic Association, 12(4), pp.949-968.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/community/health-support-services/health-

services/Pages/food-policy.aspx

Knox, P. and Pinch, S., 2014. Urban social geography: an introduction. Routledge.

Papargyropoulou, E., Lozano, R., Steinberger, J.K., Wright, N. and bin Ujang, Z., 2014. The

food waste hierarchy as a framework for the management of food surplus and food waste.

Journal of Cleaner Production, 76, pp.106-115.

Reisch, L., Eberle, U. and Lorek, S., 2013. Sustainable food consumption: an overview of

contemporary issues and policies. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, 9(2).

Spaargaren, G., Oosterveer, P. and Loeber, A. eds., 2013. Food practices in transition: changing

food consumption, retail and production in the age of reflexive modernity. Routledge.

Ward, C. and Reynolds, L., 2013. Organic agriculture contributes to sustainable food security. In

Vital Signs (pp. 66-68). Island Press/Center for Resource Economics.