It is about time that when we look at how to empower underserved, underrepresented populations that we translate this into real words not phrases that fit well into a grant application.
People who are poor are usually hungry. Oh, they may not necessarily be hungry as in only stomach rumbling hunger but on a broader scale of hunger, lacking in nutritious food. So, when a city decides to redevelop such an area, among the many improvements that could be considered would include local, organic food production. So then, why is this so lacking in just about everywhere we look?
Sistrunk Boulevard, in the northwest section of Fort Lauderdale, is one of these communities and a lot of Community Redevelopment Agency, CRA money and more has gone into making this a revitalized area. Given that it is an area of some of the highest poverty levels (think national not just local); the inclusion of local food availability along with the possibility of job creation should have been a priority. Unfortunately, to date it has not.
Besides the plantings along this street being monoculture (mass amounts of the same kind of plants) which can lead to mass destruction wiping out much of the street's plantings due to perhaps a single pest, it also does not address the issue of food at all. Considering that historically this area was home to mango groves, it would seem only fitting to have encouraged this to reinforce the culture of the area as well.
Ron Finley, who was recently featured in a TED talk on March 6, 2013, plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA, not South Los Angeles as he is quick to point out - along street curbs, in abandoned lots, traffic medians, anywhere he finds a patch of available land. Tired of driving forty-five minutes to get a decent apple, and aware that his community is inundated with cheap, nutritionally empty food choices; as an artist he promotes guerilla gardening as the new form of gangster stating that “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”