The relationship between food, the built environment and sustainability has not been widely researched. However, food consumption patterns can have a significantly negative impact on the environment, as well as beneficial impacts on human health and well-being. For instance, locally grown food has much lower carbon emissions associated with it compared to imported, highly processed, foods. Similarly, a balanced and nutritious diet ensures health and wellbeing while a poor diet leads to increased susceptibility to ill-health and disease. Achieving sustainability, therefore requires food that both promotes health and has low negative environmental impacts (sustainable foods). This can be enhanced or hindered by built environments.
A paper on built environment criteria that can be used to assess sustainable food environments can be accessed here.