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​​Brownfields to Healthfields Project​: Transforming Community Health through Sustainable Development

​Phoenix has recognized there is an opportunity to cleanup and redevelop brownfields that directly impact public health through the reuse of these sites for food and healthcare assets.  As a result of award of a $400,000 community-wide brownfields assessment grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ten sites have been cleaned up and are now being used as urban farms, community gardens, school gardens, farmers market and a food hub.  

The Brownfields to Healthfields (B2H) project targets areas with inadequate health care, food deserts, and designated infill incentive, neighborhood initiative, and redevelopment areas.  Focusing on these areas within Phoenix addresses sustainable and equitable development, in addition to building upon existing brownfields efforts.  

Additional project opportunities include:

  • healthcare facilities, clinics (permanent and mobile),

  • healthy food outlets: supermarkets, temporary food retailers, mobile markets, food hubs, farmers markets,

  • urban agriculture: aquaponics, hydroponics, controlled environment agriculture, community supported agriculture, community and school gardens.

The impact of this project results in improved community health due to the elimination of exposure to hazardous substances and creation of opportunities for improved access to healthcare and healthy foods, which positively impacts environmental and health equity.

For urban agriculture and other uses that would directly involve the growing of food, hazardous substances and pollutants would be removed prior to food production.  In addition, soil testing and evaluation will be conducted according to regulatory standards and best management practices by project partners, Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Arizona Department of Health Services to ensure the safety of residents who grow or consume food.