The Columbus Dispatch reported today that the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission was awarded an $864,989 federal grant from HUD to revitalize Columbus' Weinland Park community with a year-round farmers market, dozens of community gardens and a restaurant selling locally produced food. The area could also be home to a food-processing center and business incubator. This would be a unique approach to urban redevelopment for its food-production system based approach.
It’s great to see increased investments in our core cities and neighboring communities, especially an innovative project like this one. The vision to create a “neighborhood food campus” is a creative solution to repurposing the vacant land in the neighborhood. This is also a much needed improvement because Weinland Park is a food desert with limited access to fresh produce. The plans should be completed by 2012, and we look forward to seeing this project progress.