$865,000 HUD Community Challenge grant awarded to team of planners

$865,000 HUD Community Challenge Planning grant awarded to team of planners for Weinland Park

Ohio State researchers have teamed up with MORPC (Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission), Wagenbrenner Companies, Local Matters, and the Weinland Park Civic Association to plan for local food access and production as catalysts for urban development in Weinland Park. The two-year planning initiative will propose a zoning overlay for urban agriculture in the historic Columbus neighborhood and coordinate efforts to improve neighborhood employment opportunities, nutrition, and access to fresh, affordable food while supporting land remediation, housing redevelopment, school improvement, and increased mobility. See the project description below.

HUD Community Challenge Grant January 2011-January 2013

Food is essential to life, and its production is the foundation of the economy.  Yet in many neighborhoods, food comes from “somewhere else” and few if any people are employed in its production.  Fresh, healthy food can be hard to come by.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a very competitive Community Challenge grant to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) to plan a better food system for the Weinland Park neighborhood of Columbus.  MORPC and its community partners are working to make the production, processing, distribution, preparation and celebration of food a central feature of the neighborhood.  We are creating plans for a neighborhood food system in which the production of food takes place in yards and community gardens on nearly every block; in which training is available for those who want to learn how to produce, process, distribute, prepare and celebrate food, and to consume it in a healthy fashion; and in which the neighborhood is served by a year-round farmers market and a center for food-related training and the incubation of new food-related businesses.

This neighborhood food plan could include:
•       Making fresh, healthy, affordable food more available
•       Provide opportunities throughout the neighborhood to engage in gardening – a healthy outdoor activity
•       Providing training in skills that can lead to jobs in the food system
•       Helping people reduce their food costs by growing some of their food for themselves
•       Replacing vacant and abandoned properties with new food production sites
•       Facilitating the creation of new jobs and small businesses right in the neighborhood
•       Improve quality of life and increase neighborhood pride in Weinland Park

For more information, contact Jerry Tinianow, MORPC Director of the Center for Energy and Environment, jtinianow@morpc.org, Kay Bea Jones, Knowlton School of Architecture, jones.76@osu.edu or Dr. Parwinder Grewal, grewal.4@osu.edu.

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