Research: Community Food Space

A feeling that keeps waving over me, as I go through both the streets of the city as well as those of small communities (at least in America), is that we’ve got a ton of space that we’re willing to do nothing with for way too long. And at the same time, not enough publicly facing space that allows people to experiment without getting overly invested.

If we know that half of all businesses fail to survive past five years, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (via the U.S. Small Business Administration), what tools could be given to burgeoning entrepreneurs without requiring huge fixed costs like rent and labor?

Here to date

Originally, I’d been calling this a public space project, which was confusing, because the name evokes the use of publicly owned space like parks, or privately owned public spaces, of which my idea is neither.

Instead, the idea is to make private space actually owned by the public in a more meaningful way. POPS don’t seem to fit the bill because they are meant for the public to enjoy, but not for their improvement.

A few aspects to this plan:

In this space, current, former and nearby

A recap of my last post.

There are a bunch of other people who are doing things that are near and dear to that idea, but not necessarily the same.

Where I’m headed

I’m still hoping to gather more information from folks about what’s good here. So more TK, obviously. I had a great conversation with my aforementioned friend, working on dining projects down in Richmond, Virginia, such as Longoven (Instagram). It veered into what he wants to do with community outreach down there—another possibility. A different friend pointed me to the Museum of Food and Drink, which sounds like a fascinating foray into the subject.

There are probably more examples out there, and I’m going to keep my ear out for more, but for now my focus is going to be on articulating one potential vision for the future of this idea. Watch for more from this space.