Encouraging Neighborhood Revitalization and Sustainability Through Urban Agriculture

APA Connecticut Chapter


Friday, October 19, 2018
9:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. EDT

CM | 1.25

Add to My Log


Community-based food systems can increase access to fresh, healthy food and help improve the viability of local farmers. Together these can improve quality of life, revitalize neighborhoods, put vacant lots to productive use, and generally promote long term sustainability in urban environments. However, farms in urban areas are often at risk due to many factors, from developmental pressures and high land costs, to lack of market infrastructure, to difficulty accessing capital. One panelist will discuss how to conduct a community food assessment to demonstrate the need for food systems planning and how to integrate this assessment and findings into comprehensive plans. The second panelist will discuss their local experience with community gardeners in Bridgeport and how they are fostering connections among food system advocates to aid in urban planning that considers the benefits of urban agriculture. The third panelist will discuss how people of color and low-income community members are often excluded from local government food-systems planning processes based on their research. The fourth panelist will provide specific examples of innovative, replicable tools and strategies to support local farmers and urban food producers, which planners and decision-makers can use in their communities.


Julia Freedgood

Invited Speaker

Julia Freedgood is Assistant Vice President of Programs at American Farmland Trust (AFT) where she leads AFT’s Farms for the Next Generation initiative. In this capacity, she oversees programming related to community planning; farmland retention, succession, and access; and the Farmland Information Center, which provides technical assistance on farmland ... Read More

Susmitha Attota

Invited Speaker

Susmitha Attota, AICP, is the Principal Planner and owner of Planning Interface—a woman-owned minority consulting firm in Milford, CT. She has a diverse background in urban planning due to her working experience in Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, New York, and Connecticut. She has 15 years of experience in urban planning ... Read More

Christina Sandolo

Invited Speaker

Cristina Sandolo joined Green Village Initiative in March 2015. As Executive Director, she is leading the organization and working with the Bridgeport community towards a more just food system. She believes that cultivating young leaders of social justice, nurturing a farming and gardening movement across the city, and creating a ... Read More

Chelsea Gazillo

Invited Speaker

Chelsea Gazillo is the Director of the Working Lands Alliance (WLA) – a project of American Farmland Trust. Prior to joining WLA, Ms. Gazillo served as a Food Policy AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Bridgeport Food Policy Council and the Bridgeport Farmers Market Collaborative. She also worked as a lead researcher ... Read More

Contact Info

Julia Freedgood, jfreedgood@farmland.org