My intervention seeks to preserve the Life Do Grow operational model by anchoring the farm to institutions within its surrounding community, creating a replicable model of institutional partnership, and solidifying the perpetual vitality of this space of solidarity.
By Armando Sullivan , Harvard GSD
Life Do Grow farm, located in North Philadelphia, is a space of solidarity for the young professionals, neighborhood residents, children, previously incarcerated, and Temple students it attracts. The urban farm is operated by the nonprofit Philadelphia Urban Creators. This space fosters communication, relationship building, and refuge from some of the harsher realities of its surrounding community. The produce that is grown on the farm is distributed to the community and sold to local restaurants and food trucks. Through fundraising events and partnerships, Philadelphia Urban Creators funds its operation of Life Do Grow farm. They conduct weekly workshops on the farm and in surrounding public housing projects through which they teach residents about their produce, the importance of healthy eating, and how to prepare meals with the food they grow. This is a vital resource for North Philadelphia, as the neighborhood is largely a food desert. Beyond the Life Do Grow farm, there are almost no easily accessible locations from which residents can purchase affordable fresh produce. I seek to design a partnership between Life Do Grow farm and local institutions. By developing a Fresh Food Pharmacy with a local hospital, Life Do Grow secures a regular bulk purchaser of their produce, an extension of their educational services, and a guarantee to their future. This Fresh Food Pharmacy will distribute food to patients who have been prescribed fresh food as a supplement meant to ameliorate their battle with diabetes or obesity. My intervention seeks to preserve the Life Do Grow operational model by anchoring the farm to institutions within its surrounding community, creating a replicable model of institutional partnership, and solidifying the perpetual vitality of this space of solidarity.
LIFE DO GROW FARM
Armando Sullivan is a second-year urban planning student at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, interested in using urban design and transportation infrastructure planning to more efficiently connect urban residents to economic and cultural resources. His interest stems from his experience in major Northeast US cities throughout his life, reliant on effective mass transit to connect him to destinations and experiences that were instrumental in his development. While earning his undergraduate degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, he became acquainted with Philadelphia Urban Creators, and the Life Do Grow farm. While he only worked on the farm a short time, the importance of their work stuck with him long after leaving the city of Philadelphia.
Spaces of Solidarity is initiated, developed and curated by FAST: Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory and generously supported by The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and Harvard Graduate School of Design
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