How can we find fresh food fast in Boston? | MIT Center for Civic Media
Rodrigo is a civic technologist and researcher who designs, builds and analyzes tools to help communities and governments collaborate for social good. He leads the product team at Neighborly, a new platform for individuals and households to invest in their community through municipal bonds.
Rodrigo co-founded Build Up, an award-winning social enterprise working on technology-supported methods for resolving conflict and developing communities, and published the first large-scale study of civic crowdfunding while a masters student at MIT and a Research Assistant at the Center. He is currently on leave from a PhD at Stanford University, and has previously served as an adviser and product manager to the Mayoral offices of San Francisco and Boston, the United Nations Development Program and the UK-based crowdfunding platform Spacehive.
How can we find fresh food fast in Boston?
How do you find fresh food in Boston if you're in a hurry? For many people in the city, it's not that easy. Over the next few months I'm working on a project with the Mayor's office of New Urban Mechanics and the Mayor's Youth Council to figure out how to make it easier, and cheaper to eat well. Find Fresh Food Fast was born out of Sarah Williams' Crowdsourced City class at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and we'll be using techniques like crowdsourcing to build knowledge and tools that facilitate better eating for everyone in the city.
So what do we know about the food map of Boston so far? Here's a map of 246 corner stores in the city that I compiled from two City of Boston datasets - corner stores and healthy corner stores. Right now the data is not very granular at all - and it's just a simple map powered by a Fusion Table. But that's one of the most exciting challenges for us and our partners on this project: figuring out what information we need, how best to gather it and how to present it in a way that is dynamic and useful. That could be an awesome set of visualizations, it could be an app, it could be a game, it could be another type of storytelling device - either way, it needs to get Bostonians in a hurry to the freshest food in their neighbourhood.