Increasing Food Accessibility Among Urban Poor: Providing An Alternative Solution Through A City-wide Community Garden Plan
Community Gardens have been entitled as an emerging solution to food security and injustice issues especially among socially disempowered communities. US Department of Agriculture has designated more than half of the census tracts in City of Dallas as food deserts, representing inadequate access to fresh food in these areas. As an alternative solution, this study proposes a methodology to identify suitable locations for community gardens to increase access to fresh food for disadvantaged population. The suitability analysis was used by primarily taking the relevant socio-economic factors into consideration. The reclassification and weightings are derived through a combination of qualitative and quantitative method such as surveys and Analytical Hierarchy Process. This study identifies suitable areas of 11.2 sq. miles for community gardens all over the City of Dallas, however spatially they are more concentrated in the southern part of the city. It also identifies the physical factors for the site-specific analysis as the next step and provides strategic and institutional framework for implementation. This research lays the foundational work for adopting community garden as a part of planning for the City of Dallas.