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MAPC Partners with Tufts University on Food Access Mapping

May 25, 2016 – 4:36 pm |

Staff from MAPC’s Public Health and Data Services departments partnered with students from Tufts University this spring to analyze access to healthy food across Massachusetts. Food access is a fundamental element to healthy neighborhoods. Where …

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Planning »

MAPC Partners with Tufts University on Food Access Mapping

May 25, 2016 – 4:36 pm |

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Staff from MAPC’s Public Health and Data Services departments partnered with students from Tufts University this spring to analyze access to healthy food across Massachusetts. Food access is a fundamental element to healthy neighborhoods. Where communities face barriers to getting their grocery needs met, people are less healthy, and obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related illnesses are more prevalent. Where individuals have fewer such barriers, the community tends to be healthier.

This analysis ranks food store types and farmers markets, and uses walksheds of ¼ and ½ mile, and drivesheds of 1 to 5 miles to arrive at a food access score for Massachusetts block groups. (The map above shows the 1 mile driveshed). Demographic characteristics including income, race, income, age, public assistance, and vehicle access were then compared with the food access scores to evaluate patterns of food access by certain populations.

This project builds on MAPC’s leadership work on the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan, and advances the Plan’s recommendation to ‘support the creation and use of community “scorecards” to assess the accessibility of healthy and local food within one or more municipalities or region.’ The maps offer a nuanced representation of food access statewide and on municipal levels that can inform policy and programmatic decision making to improve food access.

The MAPC project team is reviewing the findings, evaluating the study limitations, and exploring opportunities for further application of the analysis.

The methodology for the analysis was developed by MAPC staff members Heidi Stucker, Eliza Wallace, Jessie Partridge, Tim Reardon, and Manisha Bewtra in collaboration Tufts Urban And Environmental Policy and Planning graduate students Jamie Fanous, Noah Habeeb, Caitlin Matthews, and Lexie Raczka.

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For more information on the Food Access Index Score, reach out to Heidi Stucker hstucker@mapc.org

Communities Find New Ways to Access Cleaner, More Affordable Energy

April 1, 2016 – 2:19 pm |

By Cammy Peterson, Clean Energy Director at MAPC.
Cross-posted from the Barr Foundation blog.
How leading cities and towns in Massachusetts are scaling up renewable energy while bringing cost savings to their residents.

When your electricity bill comes …

Food Planning for the 21st Century

February 4, 2016 – 2:32 pm |

In December 2015 MAPC and allies released the first food policy plan for the state of Massachusetts since the 1970s. The Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan is a planning guide rich with recommendations for the 21st century economy, …

City of Cambridge Business Continuity & Emergency Preparedness Planning

January 19, 2016 – 1:33 pm |

MAPC and the City of Cambridge Community Development Department (CDD) partnered in February 2015 to develop post-emergency business continuity and emergency preparedness strategies for small businesses in Cambridge.
All businesses are vulnerable to both natural and …

NERAC Cache Equipment Deployment Table Top Exercise

November 23, 2015 – 11:05 am |

MAPC serves as the Statewide Fiduciary for the four Massachusetts Homeland Security Regions under a grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). Additionally, MAPC provides planning and facilitation services for …

MAPC 2015 Fall Council Meeting

November 5, 2015 – 1:06 pm |

MAPC’s October 29 Fall Council Meeting was teeming with optimism as attendees were invited to celebrate the agency’s successes and look positively toward the future of planning in the Greater Boston region.
MAPC President Lynn Duncan …

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Revitalizing Malden: A Story Tour

September 2, 2015 – 2:20 pm |

America is a nation of immigrants – it’s a sentiment that’s widely expressed yet somehow seems easily forgotten. Whether you prefer the metaphor of a melting pot or a tossed salad, the basic illustration remains …

Preparing for Emergency: Cape Ann Table Top Exercise

September 2, 2015 – 11:34 am |

It was a table-top exercise intended to test the capability of the five municipalities of the Cape Ann region to shelter a large number of individuals with functional needs. Its chilling premise was fictional, but …

Mapping the Heat: Surface Temperatures in the MAPC Region

August 21, 2015 – 11:36 am |

Hot enough for ya? It probably depends on where you’re standing.
So far this summer, the weather station at Logan Airport has logged 3 days of air temperature above 90 degrees. Over the past 10 years, …

MAPC Fights Youth Violence with Basketball

July 29, 2015 – 9:54 am |

There are few things that go together quite as well as basketball and summertime – clean feet and warm socks, nothing to do and Sunday afternoons, and, of course, MAPC and regional collaboration. Given this …

MAPC’s Daily Notifications Help Municipalities Reduce Electricity Bills

July 27, 2015 – 4:27 pm |

This summer, MAPC is piloting a notification program that can help municipalities save big on their electricity accounts by reducing capacity charges. Capacity charges can constitute as much as 20-30% of municipal electricity costs, and …