Regenerative Agriculture Planning for New York City Foodshed


Gowanus, Brooklyn + NYC Foodshed


CUNY Institute for Urban Systems




  • Land Use Planning
  • Regenerative Agriculture
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Integrated Urban Services


  • Goal Setting
  • Capacity Building
  • Solution Scenario Modeling


RIV’s Joshua Foss supported the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems program, AIA chapter of New York, INSOURCE Belmont Forum, and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Coordination Network (RCN) by leading a research project, working group, and virtual seminar on regenerative food system opportunities for Brooklyn’s Gowanus district and broader New York City foodshed.

A central focus of the study was to evaluate the productive potential and ideal utilization of various urban and regional food system methodologies that could sustain local diets. Results found that:

  • Urban vertical farms and rooftop greenhouses could provide 30% of total vegetable demand on less than 1% of land area
  • Local commercial aquaponic facility(s) could produce 80% total fish/seafood demand
  • Regional greenhouses (Dutch style) could support 50% veg and 30% fruit demand on less than 1% of current NYC foodshed farmland
  • Regional regenerative/organic farms could support vast majority of broader food needs, including fruit, dairy/poultry/meat/eggs, grains, nuts/seeds/beans

Further analysis identified community-based food distribution hubs as critical facilities to support commercial production, regional distribution, meal preparation, retail, education, and waste-to-energy functions.