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.