Many New Yorkers struggle to access healthy and affordable food — a challenge exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fall 2020, 1.6 million New Yorkers were experiencing food insecurity. While food pantries and soup kitchens address critical gaps, neighborhoods need robust local food infrastructure beyond emergency aid.
New York City’s first ever 10-year food policy plan, Food Forward NYC, lays out an ambitious vision to strengthen the food supply chain so that all New Yorkers can access the food they need and want. Realizing this vision will require new thinking at a neighborhood scale.
Our 2021 Forefront Fellowship, Neighborhood Fare, explored how to foster food equity in every New York City neighborhood through the built environment.
Tools for Connecting Local Food Systems
In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy and the Department of City Planning, Forefront Fellows explored how city government can strengthen community-based food infrastructure. Their research culminated in a toolkit designed to help government agencies, community leaders, and designers invest in better-connected neighborhood food infrastructure.
The 2021 Forefront Fellows are an interdisciplinary cohort of designers, community planners, advocates, public health professionals and policy experts shaping the future of New York City.
Forefront is an annual professional fellowship dedicated to cultivating emerging leaders in urban design, development, policy, and advocacy. Each year, an interdisciplinary cohort of 25 Forefront Fellows investigates how design can address a social or political challenge facing New York City. Forefront is grounded in an equity-based approach to urban design, which shapes the composition of each cohort, the selection of program theme, and the ethos of the program.