This post is based on two sources:
Infrastructure > Health, Modeling production, processing and distribution infrastructure for a resilient regional food system. It is a stucy by the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute (Columbia University), developed with a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. The result, the New York Regional Foodshed Project, is coordinated with the National Integrated Regional Foodshed Project.
- The project asumes the high child and adult obesity rates and their social costs for the country, seing obesity as an infrastructural problem as infrastructure plays a role in food costs and has environmental and health implications.
- The improvement in infrastructure improves access to healthy food, and citizen awareness also helps. The study takes from national scale studies the vision of the agricultural productions on a 200 mile radious around large metropolitan areas.
- Food production is considered to be agregated at county level, in a structure that is subject to a case study covering the State of New York (only a part of the city’s foodshed). Apple, beef and cider production, slaugtherhouses location, demand location and access time are all studied, as well as the optimal location of new slaugtherhouses and agricultural agregation facilities.
- The food distribution through grocers in New York City is also studied.
The Potential for Urban Agriculture in New York City. Growing Capacity, Food Security, & Green Infrastructure. It is again a study by the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institut (Columbia University), developed with grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
- Study goals are:
- Quantitative analysis of the urban agriculture potential in NYC, taking into acount land availabity as much as viable crops
- Appraisal of the potential benefits of the urban agriculture, in a global cost and benefit analysis.
- Impact of urban agriculture on food security, improving equal access to healty food and improving public health
- Implications of urban agriculture on water management and sustainable urban drainage.
- Impact on energy use and urban heath island mitigation
- implications for solid waste reduction
- Outcomes show that:
- Urban agriculture can be a productive urban infrastructure, reducing energy use, managing drainage and conserving soil
- Urban agriculture can be relevant to social relations, transforming derelict spaces and fostering interaction among neighbours
- There is a potential of 5.000 acres (20 sq km, roughly three Central Parks) in which it would be possible to develop urban agriculture. Aditional capacities should need better information
- Bio intensive production can give higher yields per hectare than conventional techniques
- It is not possible to feed the whole city with urban agriculture, but in some areas it can be a relevant improvement
- More through cost- benefit analysis are needed.
- Building roofs are an opportunity for food production
- Bureaucracy is a problem.
- Existing infrastructure can help expand urban agriculture
- Urban farmers can develop feasible businesses with mixed incomes from produce sales to public and restaurants, education and composting
- Urban agriculture can be inscribed in a wider horticultural perspective adressing urban greening beyond food production
- Urban agriculture contributes to a sustainable urban food system.