Queens serves as a landing point for a wide variety of unique cultures, with almost half of the residents being foreign-born. With over 135 languages spoken in the borough, it is perhaps the most diverse place on the planet, a true “melting pot” of cultures that brings great life and vitality to each neighborhood. This diversity has also led to a celebrated restaurant culture in Queens attracting people from all over the world.
Despite this vitality, however, Queens faces many critical issues. Local families looking for fresh food are often left without healthy options. Many low-income and immigrant residents of Queens find themselves settling for manufactured food products, with few or no options of fresh produce. As recent projects in Queens such as the new “Greenmarkets” and CSAs have proven, residents will flock to fresh and healthy foods. However, the disparity of healthy food access between low-income neighborhoods and more affluent areas puts those with the least disposable income at much higher risk of adverse health effects, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
The renovation of the abandoned Queensway presents an amazing opportunity to improve the entire Queens community along it’s 3.5 mile stretch. In addition to acting as a new gathering point for the whole neighborhood, the Queensway has the potential to become a striking symbol of healthy infrastructure.
Over it’s 1,000,000 square feet, the Queensway will become the longest urban farm in the world, growing and distributing fresh, locallygrown food to those who need it most. Its mixture of growing practices will teach locals not only about growing food, it will incorporate a community center and spaces encouraging and instructing about healthy living practices. Through integrated bike and pedestrian pathways, locals will be encouraged to make healthier and more active transit decisions.