Photovoice as a Tool for Community Engagement

Underserved neighborhoods in Madrid were captured in a photovoice project.

The Photovoice medium, which some refer to as a form of “citizen science,” is an emerging tool being put to good use by food policy councils, government agencies and, most importantly, citizens around the globe. By using the power of photography, community members observe and document the specific food system dynamics in their own neighborhoods. Discussion groups review and reflect upon the photograph, and sometimes the previously unheard “voices” that are channeled through the photographs direct and inspire new policies and goals.

In the Spanish communities of Los Rosales and San Cristobal in Madrid, Photovoice Villaverde worked with the European initiative Heart Healthy Hoods to bring together 24 residents to take photos of their food environments. Read More >

CLF-supported Study: Healthy Food Availability Could Depend on Where You Live—So Does the Quality of Your Diet

The availability of healthy food choices and your quality of diet is associated with where you live, according to two studies conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and funded by the Center for a Livable Future. Researchers examined healthy food availability and diet quality among Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Md., residents and found that availability of healthy foods was associated with quality of diet and 46 percent of lower-income neighborhoods had a low availability of healthy foods. The results are published in the March 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the December 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Place of residence plays a larger role in dietary health than previously estimated,” said Manuel Franco, MD, PhD, lead author of the studies and an associate with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology. “Our findings show that participants who live in neighborhoods with low healthy food availability are at an increased risk of consuming a lower quality diet. We also found that 24 percent of the black participants lived in neighborhoods with a low availability of healthy food compared with 5 percent of white participants.” Read More >