Peter’s Speaking Topics:

1. The Urban Food Revolution

Based on examples in his book, Peter Ladner presents a vivid overview of the problems facing our food system and what individuals, neighbours, organizations, developers, cities, states and provinces are doing to overcome them.

2. Digging economic sustainability into the urban food movement.

For the food system to truly change, new approaches to growing and distributing food have to be financially viable. Peter Ladner surveys the food movement landscape to find the innovative food-growing initiatives that are setting down solid financial roots: from large commercial rooftops to meticulously planned urban plots, as well as community projects with solid returns in public cost savings.

Reaction to Peter’s talks:


Thanks again for the great presentation at last week’s Urban Development Institute event. You inspired my staff and me to take another look at our regulation and policies to see what else we can do to encourage agriculture in an urban context. We are also checking out some of the great examples from your presentation to see if there are any new ideas that we can apply. Keep up that great work and keep spreading your passion.

— Ryan Smith, Urban Planning Manager, City of Kelowna, April 2015


Peter Ladner entertained and informed 60 members of the Vancouver Historical Society at their Incorporation Day Luncheon with his illustrated discussion of how, as part of the “urban food revolution,” local food is “coming full circle.” The many questions that followed the talk attest to Peter’s ability to catch his listeners’ attention and engage their interest. Very enjoyable.

— Bob McDonald, President, Vancouver Historical Society, April 2015


The Urban Food Revolution was required reading for my anthropology of food classes, and as a follow-up Peter Ladner came to speak and answer questions.  Peter has a talent for bringing clarity to the complex issues plaguing our food system, and presents possible solutions through the promotion of urban agriculture in an accessible and captivating manner.

— Tanya Shklanka, Sessional Lecturer, Kwantlen University, July 2014


Thank you for your part in Green College’s 20th anniversary celebrations. A colleague of mine who has been to hundreds of talks in the Coach House remarked after yours that it was the most perfectly delivered that she has ever heard there, and I would not contradict her. The level of audience attentiveness and engagement was certainly off the scale for an end-of-day event.

— Mark Vessey, Principal, Green College, University of B.C., Nov. 2013


You were amazing. Great material and very engaging. Your keynote at our North Shore Summit made a great case for why local governments should be involved in food production (and showed how easy it could be). My managers and other colleagues there all thought you were great as well.

— Cristina Rucci, Planner, District of North Vancouver; Organizer, North Shore Summit Nov. 2013


Peter Ladner was the keynote speaker at an economic development/planning session on September 16th, 2013 in Waterloo. Peter’s presentation was well received and set the tone for a multi-stakeholder panel discussion which followed directly. The knowledge and understanding of participants of the Agri-food industry varied from extremely knowledgeable to unaware. The event provided a clear overview of the differences between industry sub-sectors and the varying approaches being utilized to promote them. Peter touched on a variety of relevant and topical areas and was helpful in focussing the participants on the bigger picture.

— Carol Simpson, Executive Director, Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin


Peter Ladner is a regular speaker in my large lecture class. Of all my guest lecturers he is the most engaging. He has a way of connecting with a diverse audience, moving to them to answer their questions and thereby breaking the barrier between speaker and audience. He is a natural performer and he enjoys the process.

His lectures are always tightly keyed to his visuals, which include examples from his travels around the world. His lectures are always content packed, with key statistics that are powerful descriptors of real world problems. My students often comment on how much they gain from guest lecturers. Peter Ladner is most often the name mentioned.

Peter is well known in our region for the breadth of his knowledge. I have had him lecture on more than one topic, including affordable housing and community agriculture. His knowledge of both, and his recent book on the relationship between food and community, makes him a great value to any class or forum.

As evidence, after his recent lecture, he was surrounded by students anxious to learn more and speak to him personally.

— Professor Patrick M. Condon, UBC James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Livable Environments. 


We invited Peter to give our annual keynote lecture for the Vancouver Heritage Foundation. His engaging and interesting introductory talk on urban farming in Vancouver showed our largely homeowner audience that anyone can participate by giving their plot to a local farmer who uses intensive farming methods to get incredible yields. It was great to hear that backyard farming is a win-win for everyone because the homeowner gets to keep what they need and the rest is sold at local farmers’ markets. Peter introduced us to a number of urban agriculturalists across North America innovating surprising new ways to bring farming into cities, including vertical farms, intensive soil cultivation and a greenhouse on an underused downtown Vancouver parkade rooftop. The talk made it evident that increasing local food production has significant health and food safety implications and is not just an environmental or foodie issue.

— Diane Switzer, Executive Director, Vancouver Heritage Foundation,  May, 2013



Your participation in the UBC ‘Sustainable Food’ course was just great. Several of the participants told me specifically how valuable it was to have heard such current information and so many diverse examples of urban agriculture initiatives.  They commented that it demonstrated both citizen projects, and also policy work, that is being done and/or that needs to be done.   They were impressed and very pleased that you joined us.

— Eleanor Boyle, Instructor in Sustainable Food, as part of the UBC Continuing Studies Sustainability Management Program, author of High Steaks, Oct. 2012


Peter was an excellent speaker, engaging, interesting, with a great slideshow, and a very important message that our guests appreciated. Interest in him, as a well-known BC public figure, and in his new book, The Urban Food Revolution, generated a very keen audience of about 60 people from around central Vancouver Island. The event helped generate an important community for this new program focused on sustainable seafood, by bringing out community members interested in food issues and food security on Vancouver Island.

— Michele Patterson, Aquatic Foods Initiative, Institute for Coastal Research / Vancouver Island University, following keynote talk at the launch event for the new Vancouver Island University Institute for Coastal Research Aquatic Foods, Sept. 2011


Peter Ladner’s well-received presentation was informative and engaging, and provided an exciting update on advances in the Urban Food Revolution and some of the key personalities involved.

— Conrad Guelke, Chair, Council of Suzuki Elders, David Sukuki Foundation, Vancouver, B.C., Oct, 2012


Thanks to Peter for his terrific presentation at a dinner and talk with a bunch of us from the Sea to Sky at Brew Creek Centre last October. There is a huge ‘good food movement’ emerging up here with all the chefs at Whistler’s high end restaurants, with Slow Food and amazing farmers in Pemberton, with community gardens in Squamish and farmers markets growing all the time.

The only problem is trying to get Peter back given his busy in-demand schedule. His book remains a key resource and we look forward to future collaborations with him and other allies for good food everywhere.

— William Roberts, President The Whistler Forum, Dec. 2012


Thank you so much for your superb presentation; I could tell people were very engaged, excited, and thinking about possibilities of growing their own vegetables!

Dr. Keiko Honda, Kerrisdale Community Centre, Feb. 2013.

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