The Urban Design Lab of the Earth Institute at Columbia University has pulled together a regional model for New York City’s regional capacity to produce food. The New York City Regional Foodshed Initiative incorporates land use, soil type, transportation infrastructure, and climatic conditions to assess production at several scales, as well as actual consumption data for New York City. with this detailed view, the researchers can analyze the capacity for increased production and greater self-sufficiency.
The initiative uses GIS with various geospatial data sources to look closely at food production, and to identify areas for potential increased capacity. Among the goals of the project are to look at areas of potential vulnerability due to climate and other changing conditions, and to develop quantitative data sets that can be used to justify policy changes in order to protect and enhance the foodshed.