Access to healthy food options reached such an unbalanced level in South Los Angeles that in 2008 the city declared a moratorium on the opening of more fast food restaurants within the 32-square mile area. In the face of high levels of obesity and related health issues, the moratorium was intended to create opportunities for fresh food markets and cooked-to-order restaurants to open.
At the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Michael Pinto led a research project which produced a series of speculative propositions for Mudtown Farms, a 2.5-acre site in the center of Watts. They offer an alternative for urban development wherein urban agriculture can help feed the inner city. Architecture and urbanism are critically important to issues of food and justice. Cities are designed to interface with commerce and our food system on a global scale. As cities expand, food is coming from further and further away. These infrastructural conditions also enable food deserts in one of the richest growing regions in the world.
This project seeks to demonstrate the interrelationships between food production, job creation, healthy lifestyle, education, land-use, civic space, community development, urban infrastructure, and general well-being. The issue of food is so integral to every aspect of life and society, yet it is clearly one of the most ignored.
Handbuilt designed the panels of an exhibition promoting Mudtown Farms at Superfront Gallery.