Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1977



City planners have traditionally made an effort to understand the interrelationships between urban activities and various support systems, such as transportation, water and sewer, waste management, communications and energy. Food is also an important urban support system with a complex system of supply, distribution, and consumption. An understanding of the nature of the food supply and distribution system seems important, but in the past has not been an area of concern for the planning profession. It was the intent of this project to develop a basis from which to seek an understanding of the Knoxville food support system and its implications for local planning policy in Knoxville.

The thrust of the study was three-fold. First, food-related problems and issues were identified. Then, further work was undertaken in order to propose remedial measures or public programs that might be initiated by local units of government. Finally, the group considered the possibility of establishing some kind of public oversight of the local food supply and distribution function. The approach has been general and comprehensive. One assumption here is that before public action can be initiated, those with responsibility for maintaining the public interest must understand the system. Thus, an analysis which would describe the system comprehensively, while allowing an opportunity to detect interrelationships among system components, was utilized.

Patterns of consumption, food services and programs, and marketing channels by food types were also explored. The development of information involves consultation with literature, academicians, public officials, and industry representatives.


The report was prepared by graduate students in city planning during a ten week course called SYNTHESIS, under the direction of Professor Robert Wilson.

Publisher: Knoxville, Tenn. : Graduate School of Planning, University of Tennessee, 1977.

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