The past few years have seen a lot of work on the New York City’s food system coming from the municipal government. In an effort to offer residents a “greener, greater New York,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg released PlaNYC in 2007. The report entailed 127 initiatives targeted for goal-specific improvements by 2030. However, the report didn’t choose to section out the broad topic of “food” as it did with housing and neighborhoods, parks and public spaces, air quality, and the rest.
It wasn’t until the PlaNYC 2010 April Update that the report finally threw together the topics of food, public health, and public engagement into their own separately category, “Cross Cutting Topics,” which loosely translates to, “Miscellaneous…” Many would call this a confusing move coming from a mayor so keen on food politics, evident from the Trans Fat Ban, the Soda Tax, and calorie labeling.
It wasn’t until November 2010 when NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn released FoodWorks. Just what we needed, another report.
However, FoodWorks is unlike PlaNYC or any previous NYC report. Summarized in 86 pages was a comprehensive plan set to measure and address NYC food at every stage: from agricultural production, processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption. The plan lists a total of 59 policy proposals aimed to combat hunger and obesity, preserve regional farming and local food manufacturing, and decrease waste and energy usage.
One year later, in July 2011, the City Council released Local Law 52, which helped establish the requirements for measuring the stages of NYC food outlined in FoodWorks.
In honor of Food Day, on October 24th 2012, the City Council officially released the first report from Local Law 52: FoodMetrics. The report highlights such general topics as food procurement by the Department of Education, as well as those that are very specific, such as Hunt’s Point Peninsula and the New Fulton Fish Market.
A start at best, FoodMetrics offers a solid foundation to help pull together some of the far-reaching initiatives made in FoodWorks.
You can download the full Food Metrics 2012 report here.