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"Feeding Boston" Research Cluster Series

Mapping Opportunities for Coastal Urban Production of Food and Fuel: What Do We Know and Where Can We Grow?

Matthew Eckelman, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

This presentation offers an overview of a project to analyze the potential for producing food and fuel in Boston. While unlikely to make cities self-sufficient in food or fuel, such production (to include waste- and bio-derived fuels) can have multiple benefits: increased employment and economic activity, redevelopment and productive use of blighted areas, and access to healthy foods. Activities to date include: Identification and geo-location of all current urban farming, gardening, and city trees; geospatial analysis of all arable land in Boston, both public and private, that could potentially be used to grow energy crops; mapping and shading analysis of all flat-roofed buildings that could be used for rooftop farming, hydroponics, or vertical farming; Initiation of parallel study of Worcester, MA to automate analysis using ArcGIS and GoogleEarthPro; and setting a baseline hedonic price analysis to evaluate the effect of proximity to community.


This research cluster and series are supported by the Northeastern Humanities Center Collaborative Research Cluster Program.

Monday, March 10, 2014 at 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Renaissance_Park, 310R
1135 Tremont Street

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