The content in this post comes from the Georgia Tech Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse “Food Systems for Healthy Places” blog post by Alfonso Morales, PhD.
The built environment, food systems, and health are intricately connected in today’s world. Read below for an overview of three projects seeking to improve food systems on a variety of scales across the United States, and visit the Built Environment and Public Health Clearinghouse blog to learn more.
The Oneida Nation: Modern Tribal Food Systems
The Oneida Tribe of North Central Wisconsin is an Indian Nation working to revitalize traditional agriculture as one approach to improving the health and wellness of the community. The Oneida Planning Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the University of Wisconsin’s Nelson Institute and Center for Nonprofits worked together on two projects – one focused on developing a food systems plan for the Oneida Nation and the other around designing a food center building to bolster cultural interest in food, create a space for entrepreneurs, and support economic activity and educational and recreational opportunities. Both of these efforts involved collaboration with community members throughout the design and implementation processes. The work included looking at land use maps, zoning, and demographic data to inform the building concept and design.
Farmers Market Coalition Research: Metrics for Market Success
The Farmers Market Coalition is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen farmers markets across the United States. One of FMC’s focus areas is developing metrics for farmers markets. Through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin, the organization is pilot testing indicators connected to 27 metrics (e.g. “percentage of visitors using non-auto modalities to access the market”) to further the understanding of how farmers markets interact with the built environment through the “Indicators for Impact” project. The project provides specific farmers markets with tools for data collection, analysis, and reporting of the chosen metrics. The project will facilitate a better understanding of the impact of farmers markets on economic, health, and social factors.
The Food System Wiki: A Guide to Understanding Food Systems
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture collaborated to develop the Food System Wiki, a comprehensive guide to food systems and agricultural development terms. It incorporates not only academic terms, but also political and popular words, terms, and acronyms. The goal of this effort is to support a growing field with a resource for common terminology.