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Center for a Livable Future



The Center for a Livable Future's core program areas integrate research, policy, education, communication and outreach activities that support the Center's mission, each with a unique focus on a particular aspect of the food system and its impact on public health.

Food Production and Public Health

At a time of unprecedented levels of food production, little about the industrial food production model is critically analyzed to reveal its hidden or externalized costs and unintended negative effects. Many of today's industrial agriculture practices profoundly damage our soil, air, water, and ecosystem. In response to these challenges, the Center's program on Food Production and Public Health focuses on the relationships among food production, the environment and public health.

The program aims to document the impacts of industrial agriculture practices, gather evidence to inform policymaking, and promote more sustainable and resilient methods of food production. The team is composed of the Center's faculty, staff, pre-doctoral fellows and student research assistants. Drawing upon and harnessing scientific expertise throughout Johns Hopkins University and working with colleagues from other universities and nongovernmental organizations, the program advances scientific knowledge, communicates research findings, develops educational tools and serves as a resource for those working to protect health, the global environment and our ability to sustain life for future generations. Read More>>

Food Communities and Public Health

The Center's Food Communities and Public Health program focuses on developing relationships with communities to improve food environments, increase access to healthy food, and inform food and nutrition policy. By working with professional, community-based, faith-based, governmental and academic communities, the FCPH program implements projects and activities that build and strengthen capacity to address key opportunities to create a healthy and sustainable food system that is equitable for all.

Our team provides technical assistance and leadership support in several ways by: developing metrics and evaluation tools to measure the impact of changes, translating scientific research findings into practical policy recommendations, evaluating food system interventions to provide evidence for policy and program decisions, and convening stakeholders to advocate for reform on leading food system issues. The Food Communities and Public Health program uses scientific evidence to guide its technical assistance and leadership support in efforts to increase community food security, promote environmental stewardship, and encourage the development of relationships among local and regional food and nutrition organizations seeking to improve the food system.

Current CLF projects that are based within the FCPH program include Meatless Monday, Baltimore Food and Faith, the Maryland Food System Map, and Food Policy Networks. Each project applies a different approach to improve the current food system, ranging from GIS food system maps to the Good Food Toolkit for faith communities. Read More>>

Food System Sustainability and Public Health

Our long-term food security is under increasing stress. A convergence of issues—climate change, resource depletion, dysfunctional farm policies, and loss of biodiversity, among them—now threaten the availability of healthy food for an ever-increasing population.

The Center’s Food System Sustainability and Public Health program, established in 2013, stimulates research, practice, policy, education, and communications activities, to spur the transition to a more environmentally sustainable and resilient – and less wasteful - food system that provides adequate, affordable, nutritious, and safe food to all people, at all times.  The program also includes efforts related to “social sustainability” in the food system, particularly occupational safety and health and justice issues for food system workers. Read More>>

Food System Policy Program

The Center's Food System Policy program includes a diverse portfolio of projects and activities that aim to advance federal, state and local agriculture and food policies that protect the public's health and the environment by supporting a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system.

The Food System Policy program harnesses available expertise across the Center and throughout Johns Hopkins University and builds upon the many comparative advantages of the university to: provide technical assistance; generate resource materials; develop and implement strategic communication and outreach initiatives; conduct interdisciplinary research; translate science to support policy efforts; convene key food system stakeholders; and engage advocates and policymakers at all levels. In addition, this program collaborates with multiple organizations that complement the Center's resources and expertise to improve our food system and strengthen local and regional capacity.

In addition to implementing a range of projects initiated directly by the FSP program, program staff also work on food system policies initiated by other program areas. Within the Center this creates synergy on policy priorities and helps strengthen capacity for Center-wide policy engagement by providing direct support and in-house policy expertise for program priorities. Read More>>