In an effort to downplay the effects of world food production ranging from increased hunger and malnourishment, many cities are embracing local food as an alternative to eating food with higher "food mileage" (food from places more than 400 miles away). So what does "local" really mean? Local is generally considered to be within a 100-400 mile radius (the USDA claims 400 as their number). Food that is locally based is generally more sustainable. Local food consists of farms, farmers' markets, roadside stands, and specialty stores/restaurants. A good way to produce food locally in an urban setting is to create community gardens. This can be accomplished by estimating land availability/vegetation via aerial photography (often infrared). In this particular study of Philadelphia, the collected data was categorized, mapped, and analyzed in ArcGIS. Upon study of this data, it was found that most of Philadelphia's community gardens were located in lower income areas. This is good because those areas are the most susceptible to food deserts (large distances to locations where food can be obtained or if it is present, it may not be the most "healthful") and this can lower the chances of a food desert forming. But community gardens aren't the only urban locations where one can find local food. Urban farms are immensely popular; the Philadelphia urban farms named are Mill Creek, Teens 4 Good, and Wyck Family Farm. These farms' purposes range from educational to nonprofit meant for youth empowerment, and dedication to preservation and history. So once these kinds of local food destinations are up and running, how will their potential production be ascertained? Remote sensing can be used to do so then used to find grassy and bare soil amounts in these areas, residential or not. In conclusion, a conversation about local food cannot happen without spatial analysis and mapping being mentioned as well.
Peleg Kremer, Tracy L. DeLiberty (2011): Local food practices and growing potential: Mapping the case of Philadelphia, Applied Geography 30, 1252-1261