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CALL// City as Living Laboratory and Think!Chinatown
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Resiliency in Urban Food Systems

Access to fresh, high-quality food is integral to the wellbeing of every community, yet the environmental impact of the industrial food system that cities rely on is unsustainable. On September 23rd, City as Living Laboratory (CALL) invites you to join us for an exploration of an alternative food system modelled by Manhattan’s Chinatown. In this most urban of contexts, a vast network of family-run farms, markets, and vendors supply quality, culturally appropriate food at low economic and environmental cost. In a conversation led by economic botanist Dr. Valerie Imbruce, urbanist Stephen Fan, and director of Think!Chinatown Yin Kong, we’ll dive into CALL’s work to map this food system, discuss the threats Chinatown has faced, particularly in light of the Covid-19 crisis and the gaps in mainstream relief efforts, and highlight both the resiliency this community has demonstrated in facing those threats and how this resiliency will carry the food system forward to meet future challenges.

Bridging practice with academia, Stephen Fan has designed and built projects on four continents; his research and teaching spans architecture, planning, and the social sciences. Fan has contributed significantly to research on the experience of the Chinese diaspora and the built environment in the northeast United States.

Over the last decade, Economic Botanist Valerie Imbruce has been researching the unique food system that supplies the markets of Manhattan’s Chinatown. She is director of the Undergraduate Research Center at Binghamton University.

Yin Kong 邝海音 is a community-based designer living and working in Manhattan's Chinatown. Think!Chinatown is the culmination of her work in urban design, museum, culinary & cultural instruction, and community engagement.

City as Living Laboratory (CALL) works with artists, scientists, and residents of urban communities to create sustainable solutions for urgent environmental issues including climate, equity and health. We help people connect environmental challenges to personal experience and take action.

Think!Chinatown is here to listen, to respond, and to build Chinatown's capacities as a strong & vibrant immigrant neighborhood of NYC. Our mission is to build inter-generational community through civic engagement, storytelling & the arts.