In order to analyze the process of plan/charter creation, we derived summary data from the catalog of plans and charters, including information on average funding amount, funding sources, etc. A full list of included information is below. These data were used to calculate summary statistics across all 25 analyzed plans and charters.
Four feedback sessions with planners and academics were held to review the content and methodology of this work. Additionally, we are in the process of beta-testing the functionality of the online toolkit.
Limitations & Suggestions for Future Research
This database provides a platform to analyze the recommendations and planning processes of 25 states and municipal planning efforts completed before 2023. Analyzing new plans and charters as they emerge, as well as identifying plans and charters not included in this analysis, will be of critical importance to this toolkit’s ongoing functionality and relevance. Additionally, our small sample size for city/county-level plans and charters limited the ability to draw conclusive summary information about planning in those contexts. Follow-up research should include identifying and reviewing a nationally representative sample of municipal plans and charters and incorporating that analysis into this database.
Lastly, this toolkit does not provide metrics for plan success, nor does it focus on “best practices” for the planning process or plans themselves. A qualitative and quantitative assessment of those elements, including strategies for involving community members and other key stakeholders in the planning process, effectively implementing plans, and evaluating plan impact would benefit the larger community of practice. Future qualitative analysis of plans and the planning process would additionally benefit from interviews with community members and those most impacted by food systems transformation outside of the formal sphere of planning.