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Center for a Livable Future



The Center for a Livable Future research program aims to generate a body of high-quality research on themes relevant to improving food systems, and to help build the field of researchers focused on food systems and public health. The research program supports student and faculty research throughout Johns Hopkins University.

The Center prioritizes research that is both innovative and targeted, with the aim of addressing gaps and advancing knowledge needed to improve policy and practice related to food systems.

The main components of the Center's research program include:

  • Fellowships for Johns Hopkins University doctoral students, providing funding support for education and reseach projects.
  • The Carl Taylor Research and Practice Grants program for Johns Hopkins University master's degree students.
  • Directed research projects on priority topics working involving researchers at CLF and throughout Johns Hopkins University. From 1999 to 2009, the Innovation Grants program provided funds for innovative investigator-initiated research.
  • The Aquaculture, Public Health, and the Environment Research Grant Program for full-time Johns Hopkins University faculty, fellows, and doctoral students.

The Center's research and communications teams collaborate to disseminate new information and publications resulting from funded projects to a variety of audiences, including researchers, policymakers, advocates, educators and the media.


This report reviews the literature and key information resources regarding institutional food service procurement systems, presents the potential benefits of a large-scale shift among institutional procurement policies, discusses some of the existing barriers to the adoption of policies that favor regionally and/or sustainably produced food, and provides recommendations and tools for influencing institutional food procurement practices in the United States.

It aims to clarify gaps in the literature and resources— namely, information about food service management companies’ rebate pricing systems and the potential socioeconomic, environmental, health, social justice, and animal welfare-related benefits of reformed procurement policies. The report is intended to serve as a resource for those seeking a better understanding of institutional food service procurement policies and provide a rationale for working toward reform.
This report, prepared in advance of the United Nations Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21) in Paris, reviews the scientific literature on the roles of reducing animal product consumption and wasted food in meeting climate change mitigation targets.
Aquaponics combines hydroponics (soilless plant farming) with aquaculture (fish farming) in a mutually beneficial way, as fish and bacteria supply nutrients for the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. The nutrient cycle that is created mimics natural systems.

This study, the first large-scale effort to track aquaponics in the United States and internationally, found that aquaponics is being practiced in at least 43 countries. Most survey respondents were hobbyists, with the remainder being educators, staff at non-profit organizations, or farmers. Respondents were engaged in aquaponics to grow their own food, advance environmental sustainability and improve their health. Many aquaponics practitioners are testing out new technologies related to feed choices and water and energy use.

As cities, counties, and regions across the U.S. strive to improve their local food systems, food policy councils (FPCs) are being formed to address a variety of concerns. Issues such as the existence of food deserts, increasing rates of diet-related diseases, loss of agricultural land, and poor nutrition in schools are some of the many challenges that FPCs address through policy change and other programs.

Some FPCs are formally created by municipal governments, while others are initiated and supported by nonprofit organizations. Rather than selecting one of these two models, the city of Baltimore adopted a hybrid approach for its Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI) by coordinating the efforts of community stakeholders and city officials through the unique addition of a food policy director.