IN THIS ISSUE: Visualizing Food Systems: A Q&A with Rebecca McLaren / Tracking the Effects of Values-Based Food Procurement: New York City’s “Cool Foods” Dashboard / Leveraging Public Data to Uncover Additional Insights: A Snapshot of School Meals / Building a Dashboard for Urban Agriculture: An International Participatory Data Collection and Analysis Project / Policy Highlights / Research Highlights / Upcoming Events / Recordings from Past Events / Opportunities


Greetings CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor readers and members of our food policy learning community!

As all of you know, siloed data systems and complex application portals pose barriers to vulnerable individuals in need of essential services and resources. Many municipal functions have adopted smart technologies and sophisticated dashboards to improve access to public services, manage infrastructure, and increase public participation.

Yet, visualizing community and regional food systems—from production to transportation, retail, consumption, and post-consumption—have not kept the pace with these developments already accomplished in other sectors. In fact, food systems data are often incomplete, scattered across agencies, and insufficiently disaggregated to identify racial, ethnic, or spatial disparities, hindering effective and equitable management of municipal food programs and investments. How can innovative technologies assist in data collection and analysis to illustrate and explain disparities on key municipal food system indicators? To what extent can novel analytical methods enable stakeholders to visualize, communicate, and model alternative scenarios to reduce disparities and deepen efforts to advance an equity-based food policymaking?

This issue of CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor presents insights from key recent research and policy efforts to increase access to municipal data and innovative initiatives that have sought to implement diverse, smart city solutions in food and other public health-related policy domains.

Guest Editors of this Issue: Rositsa T. Ilieva, Yvette Ng, and Nevin Cohen