Date of Award

8-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

Major

Landscape Architecture

Major Professor

Samuel M. Rogers

Committee Members

Bradford P. Collett, Jennifer A. Akerman

Abstract

Americans today know food well, but few fully understand where it comes from, the processes involved in its production and distribution, or the issues of unequal access to it. It is encouraging to see the presence of healthy food and sustainability as hot topics in our society, but we have not yet given everyone equal access to these benefits. Farmers’ markets, agritourism, and organic farms have begun to inspire a new generation about the advantages of healthy food, but the presence of food deserts haunts urban areas throughout the country. The lack of access to healthy food in the city is a pressing issue that is causing certain urban residents to be at a disadvantage. Changes are needed in the fabric of our urban communities to incorporate urban agriculture and food education.

In the neighborhood of California, within the city of Louisville, Kentucky, there are nearly six thousand citizens challenged by poverty, unemployment, and limited food access. These families have little or no healthy food access, even to something as simple as a grocery store. People cannot always move to where healthy food is, so it’s time to bring it to them.

Urban agriculture can supply a neighborhood and the surrounding area with local and sustainable sources of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, herbs and more. The goal is to provide healthy food and hands-on education to young people within the community, and show them how to grow food, maintain gardens, and use the produce in healthy meals for themselves and their families. Finding a way to adequately distribute the food to those in the community is imperative as well.

In California, urban agriculture introduced in underutilized spaces could provide gardens for families, education for the community, and food for local residents. My design will serve as a prototype for how urban agriculture can be incorporated into the fabric of a neighborhood. Soon, the education of children about the importance of healthy food will make an impact on individuals’ health and lifestyle. Overall, this design seeks to accomplish these goals, and begin to ‘break the fast food chain in America.’

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