Date: October 24, 2 p.m. Eastern
Topic: Community Land Planning and Access
Call in number: 712-775-7000 Access Code: 437563#
596 Acres works to assist communities to research and access public land and develop plans and campaigns to advocate for changes in land use. They have been working with partners in New York City and are now working in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Paula Segal of 596 Acres, Amy Laura Cahn, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, Mark Glassock and Hector Gutierrez, Community Health Councils, Los Angeles, and Sanjay Hharod, New Orleans Food & Farm Network will discuss their efforts and share their progress. Call participants will be able to ask questions of the panelists.
Paula Z. Segal is the founding director of 596 Acres, a New York City-based community land access advocacy organization, a project of the Fund for the City of New York. As an attorney, she is the legal director of the 596 Acres Community Land Access Program, through which 18 groups have formalized relationships with municipal entities to use public land, 10 others are organized and nearing completion of their negotiations and over 100 other groups are working towards transforming their neighborhood holes into resources. 596 Acres’ model is based on a process of transforming municipal data into information and placing that information in contexts where it can spur action. We are sharing this process with advocates in other cities through groundedinphilly.org, laopenacres.org, and livinglotsnola.org. We just found out that 3000acres in Melbourne got funding to replicate our model there independently.
Amy Laura Cahn is the director of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. GJLI supports community gardens and market farms in disinvested neighborhoods in the Philadelphia area through legal and policy advocacy support, community education, and organizing. This year, we worked with 596 Acres to launch Grounded in Philly <http://groundedinphilly.org/>, a mapping and organizing webtool aimed at supporting community driven land-based projects by making information transparent — about vacant land, pathways to legal land access, and opportunities for organizing on a block- and citywide level.
Community Health Councils is a non-profit, community-based organization health education and policy organization. Established in 1992, CHC’s mission is to promote social justice and achieve equity in community and environmental resources for underserved populations. Mark Glassock, is a Policy Analyst on the Environmental Health team, and works to increase the amount of green space in South Los Angeles in partnership with multiple coalitions convened by CHC. Mark serves as principal staff managing the LA Open Acres project that aims to increase the level of transparency on vacant space in green space poor neighborhoods. Mark also serves as a steering committee member on the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s Urban Agriculture Workgroup.
New Orleans Food & Farm Network (NOFFN) is a food justice organization focused on creating sustainable sources for fresh food in New Orleans. Established in 2002, NOFFN has helped to incubate many asset-based food projects throughout the City by providing organizational support, capacity-building, and technical assistance. This year, we are working with 596 Acres to launchLivingLotsNOLA.orgto provide information on available vacant land in New Orleans and to suggest pathways to acquire this land for land-based projects.LivingLotsNOLA.org is one of the tools in the FarmCity Toolbox that is being developed to address the 4 main obstacles for urban farming projects – land issues, training/mentoring, financing, and accessing markets. The Toolbox along with our Farm This Now! Organizing – Community Surveys, Vacant Lot Labeling, Project Development, Neighborhood Farming Workshops, and Catalyst Projects – aims to build the power of neighborhoods often left out of the envisioning, decision- making, and initiation of projects.