The Fight for Farmland: Agricultural Production on Vancouver’s Rural/Urban Fringe

January 16, 2017

Lenore Newman

Monday, January 16, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre

Sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities

The agricultural regions surrounding Vancouver are some of the most productive on the continent; Abbotsford alone produces twenty two percent of farmgate sales in BC. But rising land prices are creating difficulty for new farmers, and the pressure for more residential use of farmland is rising rapidly. In this talk I explore the innovative, intensive agriculture occurring on the rural/urban fringe, and discuss the growing threat of development pressure and land cost. Ultimately, a stricter ALR might be needed if this economic and cultural engine is to survive.


Lenore Newman holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is an associate professor in the department of geography and the environment. She is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada's New College. Lenore runs a research program focused on Canadian regional cuisines, local food sovereignty, culturally preferred foods, and agricultural land use. Her opinion pieces on the future of farmland use and other food-related issues have been published in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, and the Georgia Straight, and her first book, Speaking in Cod Tongues, will be published in January, 2017. Lenore is also director of the Agriburban Research Centre at UFV, which studies the presence of agriculture on the rural/urban fringe at the landscape level, as well as agricultural tourism and place branding in such areas. She holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from York University.