SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

FoodSpot

FoodSpot is a visionary community that transforms city centers into hubs of sustainable and local food production. We connect three urban users: (1) growers: people who want to grow food, (2) sharers: users that have space where food can be grown, and (3) experts: those who can provide technical assistance. FoodSpot involves citizens and communities in their local food system, reduces GHG emissions associated with food transportation, and builds greener, healthier, sustainable cities.

Problem

Urbanization will define the future: by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

Cities face a multitude of sustainability challenges: air pollution, concrete jungles, food deserts, and community isolation.

Moreover, as cities expand so do the food needs of urban families. Urban populations are heavily reliant on purchased foods, which have significant environmental impacts – supermarkets are stocked with food that has traveled thousands of miles and has substantial embedded water and GHG emissions.

Currently, agriculture accounts for around 20-30% of global GHG emissions. Localizing food production can transform cities into abundant food systems.

However, a lack of options and space for growing food hinders behavioral shifts towards sustainable food production and consumption.

Solution

Transforming urban areas into sustainable, thriving, resilient, and healthy hubs requires innovative solutions that build connections and community.

FoodSpot is a sharing economy model that connects urban users who are looking for opportunities to (a) grow healthy food in their city, (b) share space with those in their community who want to grow food, and (c) share expertise and know-how in gardening practices.

FoodSpot answers the need of the conscientious consumer who questions the traceability and sustainability of globally sourced food products, the city dweller who is looking for ways to build resilient and green city centers, and the property owner who is looking to utilize and beautify unused space.

FoodSpot addresses sustainability challenges by decreasing food miles and GHG emissions, providing affordable access to growing spots, ‘greening’ increasingly dense cities, and enhancing skills and well-being of community members.

Urban food production increases the availability of healthy, sustainable and affordable food, and creatively uses new locations for food cultivation.

Innovation

FoodSpot is a unique and innovative solution that applies a sharing-economy model to develop ‚green‘ (i.e. parks, exiting gardens) and ‚grey‘ (i.e. rooftops, high walls, parking lots) urban spaces.

We reinvent food production and consumption in cities. We use a dynamic model to link urban gardeners with urban landowners to expand opportunities for growing local, sustainable food. We offer an easy-to-use and engaging online community.

Our idea is novel and fresh, but we face two types of competitors. Community-based gardening initiatives offer a solution for individuals who want to garden; however, they have long waitlists, limited spots, and are not often conveniently located.

Online gardening platforms offer platforms for sharing gardening supplies and, in one case, traditional garden spaces; however, they do not focus on urban sustainability or ‚grey‘ spaces.

We also recognize that alternative proposals for unused urban space might have a stronger monetary appeal to some of our potential sharers (i.e. commercial development might give higher yields).

Impact

FoodSpot contributes to sustainable development and green cities by promoting land sharing (slows agricultural land development), localizing food systems (decreases food miles), facilitating community interactions (encourages social development), offering creative solutions for sustainable urban development, and connecting users on new and innovative projects.

In this way, FoodSpot actively contributes to SDG goals 2: Zero Hunger, 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, 11: Sustainable Cities, 12: Responsible Consumption, 13: Climate Action, and 17: Partnerships.

The sustainability impact will be quantified through square meters of space rented, number of users, and number of connections facilitated.

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