Food Systems Planning: The Next Step in NYC's Public Health Crusade

Now that Mayor Bloomberg has had his say in what New Yorkers drink, Alan Brake argues it's time for the next mayor and his partner in Albany to focus on what they eat, by devising a plan to link New York's upstate farms with its downstate markets.
October 24, 2012, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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On the occasion of Food Day, "a nationwide celebration and a movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food created by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)," we bring you an editorial by Alan G. Brake that calls for New York (City and State) to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses those very goals.

By linking upstate New York's expanding agricultural sector with the city's "rag-tag" but vital greenmarkets and growing focus on the importance of fresh food in improving public health, Brake sees an opportunity to help fulfill the city's sustainability and public health goals while supporting upstate's struggling economy.

He sees comprehensive land-use and infrastructure planning, as well as architecture and urban design, as essential to achieving these goals. "Regional processing plants for meat, dairy, and produce-perhaps developed through co-op models or in public/private partnerships-would allow growers to create value added goods available all year. Statewide land-use planning should support open space conservation, and transportation planning should help growers bring their goods to market efficiently."

While in the city, he says, "we need a brick and mortar (or glass and steel) year-round regional food market/hall...Each borough could certainly sustain its own market (as well as upper Manhattan). These should be well-designed, gracious public spaces worthy of New York's world-class food culture, and reflective of our leadership in public health innovation and sustainable urbanism."

 

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Published on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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