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
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
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.