Our mission is to enable all families in south Phoenix to have affordable access to healthy food, active living and healthy roots of their cultures.


South Phoenix residents have unequal access to health-promoting resources such as fresh fruit and vegetables; safe, open, space; and culturally accessible and accurate health information – and that this inequitable access is negatively influencing their health and wellness. Spaces is intending to refashion the food system in south Phoenix to better reflect the community’s interests and values and otherwise promote healthy food access, healthy literacy and economic development.

Founding Partners

Spaces of Opportunity was made possible through the strategic partnership between the Desert Botanical Garden and Vitalyst Health Foundation. Through multi-year investments, technical assistance, and direct support of Cultivate South Phoenix, Desert Botanical Garden and Vitalyst Health Foundation solidified the long term success of the Spaces of Opportunity initiative.


Landscape Architecture of Spaces of Opportunity

Design Team

Quilian Riano

Designer & Landscape Architect, Spaces of Opportunity

Quilian Riano is a designer, researcher, writer, and educator working out of Brooklyn, New York. Quilian founded DSGN AGNC, a collaborative design/research studio exploring political engagement through architecture, urbanism, art & activism. He teaches Design and Urban Ecologies studios at Parsons, The New School for Design in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the School of Design Strategies and has also taught at Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development. Quilian has won awards from the Vilcek Foundation, the American Society of Landscape Architects, among others. Quilian attended University of Florida for a Bachelors of Design (BDes) in Architecture and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design for a Masters of Architecture (MArch).

Guiding Principles


Pay Workers

The intent of the CUSP Steering Committee is to provide people in paid positions- specifically farm workers- with a just wage. Fifteen dollars an hour will be the starting point.

Justice Based Economic System

Spaces of Opportunity must create a justice-based economic system, including community-based civic engagement, in the work that is done.