Farmers' markets, organic groceries, CSAs: They're a great way for conscientious urbanites to snap up fresh produce. But the fact is, farm-to-table foods aren't cheap, preventing many low-income families from eating healthy.
That could change with the Greenhouse Project in Brooklyn. This conceptual “pop-up farm” would be built in Cypress Hills, a low-income neighborhood with extremely high obesity rates and a dearth of access to nutritious food. A forward-thinking group of architects, engineers, and designers hopes to offer a corrective by providing hydroponic food to local residents through an off-grid mobile unit. The group estimates that it could farm 8,000 pounds of produce every 12 weeks.
But the Greenhouse Project isn't just about growing fresh produce. The plan is to turn the place into an educational hub. Local schools could visit on field trips to learn about the connection between science, nutrition, and climate change. Residents could take classes on urban agriculture and greenhouse construction.
DesigNYC is gearing up for its 2012 campaign, "Recharging Communities." If you have bright ideas, and you're looking to do good at an urban scale, check out the group's call for submissions.