What does food access look like in one of the wealthiest cities in the US
? This map shows all of the areas with housing within San Francisco. This guide will walk through different neighborhoods in the city and also give you a chance to explore what behavior changes or new construction can help with food access.
These filled in dots (
) represent supermarkets (source: OSM, see below
). The denser northern part of the city offers many food options but there are some locations in SF with less access, especially in the less dense southern part of the city. For example, the simulation has circled Hunter's Point in the Bayview-Hunter's Point neighborhood which, in addition to being one of the poorer areas
, is far from a supermarket.
Of course, supermarkets aren't the only source of food and these filled in squares (
) represent fast food locations. This tool simulates if different residential areas would choose to go to fast food or the supermarket based on distance to each. Note the south east of SF and, for a lot of residents in this poorer area, fast food may just represent a more convenient option.
In contrast to the Bayview, other areas just to the west are both wealthier and offer more supermarket options. This demonstrates an interesting trend where sometimes income follows access: those with less financial resources to cope with distance to supermarkets are also sometimes those furthest from them.
Finally, food deserts are often framed in terms of physical distance and income but public transit also plays a role. Consider this area near Lake Merced. While higher income relative to the Bayview, it sees poor transportation access
, indicating another way the layout of the city might influence eating habits.
Now that you know what some of the problems are, how might you make it better? Use the simulation controls to add new supermarkets (or fast food locations) to simulate programs like building subsidies. Also, use the slider to simulate programs (like transit subsidies) which might encourage residents to travel further to get to a supermarket relative to the nearest fast food option.
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