For FIT City 10, this project considered the potential benefits that local food production and composting initiatives could have for Mott Haven residents. Mott Haven has a 17% diabetes rate and 63% of residents say they would like more affordable food. 69% of residents also say they are likely to attend classes on cooking nutritious food.

NYCHA’s Betances I housing development large through-block parking lot to the south gets 6 hours of sunlight per day making it an ideal location to implement food production and composting initiatives. The space could be utilized as a “productive pathway,” consisting of stations for a cycle of food production, disposal, and recycling. By following the three steps of Remediation, Nutrition, and Beautification, this programming has the potential to achieve success at different scales—with the residents, the community, and the environment.

The project culminated in a pair of workshop at Fit City 10. FitCity is an annual program organized by the AIA New York Chapter in partnership with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to “bring together architects, planners, designers, developers, government officials, community advocates, and public health professionals to discuss how design, policy, and practice decisions can create opportunities to increase physical activity, access to healthier food and beverages, and overall well-being.” The aim of the “Fit NYHCA” workshops was to explore opportunities and strategies to activate open space on NYCHA-owned properties.