Nevin Cohen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, Research Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
By Nevin Cohen, Nick Freudenberg, and Craig Willingham, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
In the last few years, NYCHA has attracted the attention of policy makers, developers, elected officials and activists seeking new ways to improve living conditions, enhance public safety, repair an aging infrastructure, encourage economic development and promote health in the city-within-a-city that New York’s public housing constitutes. In this policy brief, we consider another aspect of NYCHA: the food its residents buy, prepare and eat and the role food plays in the health, environment and economy of the city’s NYCHA population.
Nevin Cohen, Research Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
In the past year various New York City policies and programs have helped to grow urban agriculture: The city’s housing agency preserved dozens of gardens slated for housing development, including designing four existing gardens into a new development project. Gardens in the Lower East Side are being retrofitted to help protect the community from flooding. The Housing Authority has created large farms on several developments to train youth, involve residents, and grow and distribute fresh produce. And entrepreneurs have come together to advocate support for the nascent commercial urban agriculture industry. This brief explains that these efforts not only align with food policies but they address broader city goals that extend beyond food production.