Food Desert Map

The Living Building Challenge Chicago Design Inspired by Data

In the 2013 Design Competition sponsored by the Living Building Challenge : Chicago organization, contestants were asked to surmise and plan for a site that would draw on the needs of the local community to create a facility that would unify the citizens and encourage sustainable development. Using data to first assess the site led to the clear conclusion that the area was prime for placement of grocery and restaurants: populations of residents (grocery) and staff (restaurant) for large facilities (hospital and university). A preliminary assessment can be found at the project design website – Center For Permaculture and APropriate Technology of grocers (Table 1) in a one mile Euclidean radius shows a majority are wholesale providers (28) and a handful of retail grocers selling produce (7). The half mile radius shows a drastic reduction in all store types, further iterating the site is at the heart of a food desert. If you don’t have a design site to follow the methodology of this example, consider taking on the challenge of starting a statewide Farmer’s Market Accessibility Map and Impact Assessment. What is the demographic profile from comparing Colorado 2014 Farmer’s Markets to Census Blocks and applying a 1 mile walking radius buffer, 10 mile biking radius buffer and 30 mile driving radius buffer? 



Margaret Spyker

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