Food Fights

The complexities of urban food deserts in the Bronx, NYC (2011)

Obesity, diabetes, and asthma for residents of Hunts Point are only some of the community’s alarming health concerns. What became clear in our research is that we needed a deeper look into the myriad of social, cultural, and economic issues that underpin each of these public health issues. With the urban ecosystem in mind, we looked broadly across systems of policy, education, behaviour, environmental factors, and issues of accessibility. While complex and interrelated, we began to identify factors that might support, mitigate, or inadvertently provide barriers to health care.

In order to bring us closer to individual residents, we began to explore the daily routine of the individual. We developed a scenario building tool for mapping the different journeys residents took each day and their various interaction points within the community. Through storytelling and mapping, the team team discussed opportunities for intervention in a visual way. We also juxtaposed the five levels of influence on health related behaviors (taken from the public health model), as a means of assessing ideas. Each scenario could then be discussed and assessed around their ability to impact shifts in behaviour. Through scenario planning and role playing, the tool aims to create generative inclusive discussion and idea creation.

Collaborators: Minuette Li and Francis Carter