Completed for: Peterborough GreenUP Professor Tom Whillans, Trent University Trent Centre for Community-Based Education
This document is a compilation of research reports written by students in the Environmental
Resource Studies/Science (ERTS) 3160H class at Trent University in the winter of 2014. The
research was completed in conjunction with GreenUP, Trent Centre for Community-Based
Education (TCCBE), and Taylor Mackey (a graduate student research assistant in Trent’s
Sustainability Studies program). The students looked critically at urban food forests around the
world and made suggestions for designing a food forest in Peterborough. These reports will help
inform this process alongside a report written by Taylor Mackey as part of his research
assistanceship: An Urban Food Forest for Peterborough: Planting for Our Future.
An urban food forest is an area in a city or town where trees, and often other plants, are
intentionally planted for food production. These urban food forests often attempt to mimic
natural ecosystems. Currently urban forests are generally considered valuable solely for the
ecosystem services they provide, such as stormwater management. In the past these urban
forests were often managed for the products they produced, rather than just the services they
There is increasing interest in creating edible landscapes in urban areas. Some are starting to see
urban forests as more than something that can clean the air or reduce the stormwater runoff.
Some are starting to see the potential to create areas that can provide these services as well as
produce food for human consumptions, as well as a host of other benefits. Most of the studied
urban food forests focus on food security. Urban food forests have the potential to provide the
same services as our current urban forests, but also produce food (and perhaps increase
biodiversity in the process).