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Ana Baskinger, Michelle Dang, Hannah Lesser, and Christy Zo

Carnegie Mellon University, US

Nutrition Access in Pittsburgh is a gigamap that nests the issue of food insecurity in Pittsburgh, which affects various communities’ health, economy, and environment within larger scalar levels to visualize and understand the interconnectivity of this wicked problem. We used the process of mess mapping, STEEP (Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental, and Political analytical lenses), and Donella Meadows’ leverage points to uncover the deep levels of poverty, racism, globalization, and lobbying that are rooted in the issue of nutrition access. The use of mess mapping and STEEP helped us organize nodes of information, identify feedback loops within and across the various scalar levels, and categorize recurring patterns. We propose leverage points on every scale to intervene in education, food access programs, agricultural practices, government interventions, and the global food system to alleviate the issue and hypothesize preferable futures.

Reading nutrition access

Our map is divided into five levels: individual, city (Pittsburgh), state (Pennsylvania), national (United States), and global. As you read further down the grocery cart, the more complex the issue becomes, bound to a larger scale. Each point of intervention describes the problem, proposes a solution from a designer’s perspective, barriers, and an expected timeline. Additionally, we have provided statistical information to contextualize the issue.

Map: Nutrition Access in Pittsburgh

To view the map detail, click the black arrow on the right. You can zoom in from the view on the new tab and explore the whole map. You can also download the full-size map from the new tab.




Citation Data

Author(s): This gigamap nests the issue of food insecurity in Pittsburgh within larger scalar levels to visualize and understand the interconnectivity of this wicked problem.
Title: Nutrition Access in Pittsburgh
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
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First published: 1 September 2021
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