INNOVATION IN EXTENSION: University of the District of Columbia

The following describes an innovation.

Region: Northeast

Main contact information for this innovation: Sabine O'Hara

Main contact job title / position: Dean and Director of Land-grant Program

Main contact number: 202-274-7011

Main contact email address:

Innovation name: Urban Food Hubs Solution to Food Security

Brief description of innovation as provided in online survey: Food security demands a diversified food system that includes urban communities as locations for food production, food preparation, food distribution, and waste reduction/reuse. The Urban Food Hubs concept of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) tests the feasibility of small-scale urban food systems that include these four key components. The heart of the CAUSES Urban Food Hubs are high efficiency food production sites that utilize bio-intensive, aquaponic, and hydroponic production methods. Co-located with these urban food production sites are commercial kitchens that serve as business incubators and training facilities for food processing and nutritional health related activities. Given their location in urban neighborhoods, the Urban Food Hubs also focus on waste reduction and reuse through composting, water management, and related approaches to minimizing pressure on urban land and infrastructure systems. In addition to improving food security, the Urban Food Hubs thus also contribute to job creation and urban sustainability in its economic, social/cultural, and environmental/physical dimensions.