Professor Acey part of team receiving HUD Community Challenge Grant

The Knowlton School of Architecture is proud to be part of a team receiving a US Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Challenge Grant. The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission  will be awarded $864,989. Professors Acey (city and regional planning), Bennett (landscape architecture), Boswell (landscape architecture, and Jones (architecture) will be responsible for working with the partnering agencies to create a plan to remedy the lack of access to fresh food in Weinland Park by integrating a local food system into the community. The plan will integrate a number of projects: new community gardens on foreclosed, vacant, and abandoned properties, a neighborhood food campus for food distribution and classes in food production and entrepreneurship, transportation planning, and the creation of a "healthy food team."  Activities include research into best practices in urban agriculture, environmental site analysis, design development, and transportation and mobility plans. The Knowlton School of Architecture,  the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and its partners will also develop a curriculum tailored to urban gardening and entrepreneurship.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • The grant will result in greater connectivity through complete streets.
  • The project will increase the availability of fresh food, expanding the area safe for community gardening by at least 300% while increasing the proportion of residents within 1,000 feet of a garden.
  • The Neighborhood Food Campus will handle at least 100 agriculture students a quarter and create at least 20 new jobs in the neighborhood.

Project Highlights

  • INCREASE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT: The planning process will involve neighborhood residents; once the project has been completed, residents will have the opportunity to build their own food production and distribution system.
  • HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: Both increased access to fresh food and more transportation options will provide health benefits to residents.
  • STRENGTHEN LOCAL ECONOMIES: The institution of a local food system will decrease the neighborhood’s dependence on outside food sources and provide a significant revenue stream into the community in wages from new jobs and profits from food entrepreneurship.

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