Khuba International, a Tompkins County nonprofit, is initiating a Quarter Acre for the People (QAP) project to create sustainable and just food systems by increasing access to land for urban-dwelling black, indigenous and families of color. Through this project, faculty and students in DEA 4220: Ecological Literacy and Design are using the Living Building Challenge green-building protocol to research regenerative landscapes and housing for QAP participants, working with the stakeholders to meet their needs (and exceed expectations!) in the spring semester of 2021. The following summer, students and program participants will deconstruct local buildings to provide a “material bank” for the various building programs in the years to follow.
The program focuses on supporting children and their families as they learn how to grow their own food, access land and improve their health through activities such as gardening, walking and healthy eating from their own farms and gardens. As a result, the program seeks to provide dignity-affirming pathways of direct connection to land and food via self and cooperative governance models.