NY Canal Food Hub

The NY Canal Food Hub proposal envisions the New York State Canal System as a food production and exchange network. The food network consists of a series of modular food hub facilities on agricultural lands along the canal, serving major population areas including Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo (see Figure 1). The rustic sites along the NYS Canal System not only provide a scenic backdrop for the facility but also provides the source of water for irrigation and hydropower generation. Similar to how wineries attract visitors to their vineyards by incorporating restaurants and venues, each food hub facility is intended to become a destination for the local communities, industries, and visitors to produce, exchange, experience, and learn about food. The essential programs include greenhouses (supplement to the open fields), farmer’s market, farm-to-table restaurants, and educational programs. The initial stage of research will focus on developing one of the Food Hub facilities located near the city of Syracuse. This model facility will serve as a prototype for creating the brand, developing the architectural systems (e.g., sustainable building strategies), and testing the financial feasibility of the project. Ultimately, this model facility will be incrementally expanded to other cities along the canal, providing opportunities for intercity cooperative food production (e.g., strategic crop rotation) and food exchange (e.g., using the canal transport).


  • 2017 Reimagine the Canals Challenge
  • NYS Canal Corporation and NY Power Authority


  • Syracuse Center of Excellence


  • Yang Song