This Big City and Future Cape Town hosted our first #citytalk tweetchat of 2013 last week, looking at Food and the City, which, after much discussion certainly provided food for thought. The importance of the topic was once again highlighted at the Rio +20 summit last June, where food security was listed as one of the 7 critical issues that needed to be addressed by the summit. (We had previously covered other critical issues i.e. jobs, energy and sustainable cities) The discussions were once again constructive and fast-paced, with ideas ranging from the complexities of food security, to food wastage, the contextual importance of urban farming and even the traditional dishes with which some cities are associated with.
Here are 8 perspectives on the topic:
Tackling food security in cities
The food security challenges in cities can vary between the location of the city. While some cities may be at risk due to extreme water shortages, possibly a factor of their location or poor water management, other cities struggle around the paralysis, and at times, non-existence of the required policies and legislation to enhance the food security of the region.
A1 Lack of recognition of fragility of food supply – look at the impact of a few days of bad weather on US market. #citytalk
— Vicky Soderberg (@CygnetUpdates) January 23, 2013
<A1> Major food sercurity challenge in the US is water management. We’re experiencing extreme drought. #CityTalk twitter.com/JaceDeloney/st… — Jace Deloney (@JaceDeloney) January 23, 2013
<A1> Lack of policy and political will around promoting Food security #CityTalk — futurecapetown.com (@futurecapetown) January 23, 2013
Defining resilience in the context of food The definition of resilience came under the spotlight several times in 2012. While planning to be a more resilient city may suggest that cities should be more independent, it should not exclude the importance of building partnerships with other nearby cities and regions, in particular where the production of food is involved. The consensus was that it was not necessarily possible for a city to produce all its own food, but that it should be fully aware of its supply chain, and plan for contingencies.
A2. no. cities do not necessarily have to produce everything on their own. that’s not why cities exist. #citytalk — Keep It Surly (@surlyurbanist) January 23, 2013
<A2> Food security is only one factor that goes into sustainability & resilience metrics. It’s also very context specific. #CityTalk — Jace Deloney (@JaceDeloney) January 23, 2013
Food and the brand of a city It is not necessarily the type of food which is part of a city’s brand, or even where the food originates from, but also how this food is sold and shared. San Francico’s food trucks and the fish markets of Buenos Aires become a part of the food and brand offering of those cities, and as a result many other cities have begun adopting some of these ideas.
A3. @thisbigcity Paris comes to mind – and we might be in a pizza mood, but New York and Chicago are also contenders #citytalk — Redesign Revolution (@RedesignRev) January 23, 2013
<A3> San Francisco and its food trucks. Seattle and its fish market. Buenos Aires and its meat. #CityTalk @thisbigcity — Gareth Pearson (@yopearson) January 23, 2013
A3. Perhaps more revealing is to look at which cities interact with Food in notable ways: San Fran food trucks, Jhb Corn trolleys. #citytalk — Dinika Govender (@DrivingMissD) January 23, 2013
#CityTalk A3. We’re not sure if Bogotá is known for its food, but it should be! A city on a hill can grow produce in surrounding valley. — MIT CoLab (@MITCoLab) January 23, 2013
Many ideas exists to reduce food wastage, which requires households to work together, and communities to develop projects and schemes which considers a wide spectrum of the socio-economic groups in that community. Watch this video by Graham Hill on food waste: — Gareth Pearson (@yopearson) January 23, 2013
Graham HIll’s TED talk on food waste ted.com/talks/graham_h… via @drivingmissd #citytalk — Joe Peach (@thisbigcity) January 23, 2013
<A4> For a start we need to change the fashion ofoverstocked shelves. Enough is enough! Means changing what we value,tough.#citytalk — Kat Austen (@katausten) January 23, 2013
A4. Is this wastage greater than historical wastage numbers or less? the figure is not illustrative w/out context. #citytalk — Keep It Surly (@surlyurbanist) January 23, 2013
<A4> Go halfsies gohalfsies.com@futurecapetown #citytalk — Gareth Pearson (@yopearson) January 23, 2013
Finding ways to encourage urban farming There are many interesting approaches to support urban farming but one thing to keep in mind, is that this support should be based on how appropriate urban farming is food a city or community, aware of the potential conflicts and challenges. Where urban farming is appropriate, ideas like the food-ops in Brooklyn and encouraging civic scale farming like fruit trees and herb gardens are popular.
A5. Some deindustrialized cities like Detroit looking to urban ag as economic engine; very real conflicts w/ residential areas #citytalk — Mike Ernst (@mikeyernst) January 23, 2013
A5 CSA’s and food co-ops are really big in Brooklyn and promote not only urban farming but community development as well #citytalk — Redesign Revolution (@RedesignRev) January 23, 2013
<A5> By making pilot urban farming schemes easier to get approved. Learn by trying #CityTalk — futurecapetown.com (@futurecapetown) January 23, 2013
A5. bigger question…is it appropriate for cities to encourage urban farming? highly context specific policy question #citytalk — Keep It Surly (@surlyurbanist) January 23, 2013
Also about scale: backyard gardens v. industrial farming MT @surlyurbanist: A5. is it appropriate for cities to encourage farming? #citytalk — Mike Ernst (@mikeyernst) January 23, 2013
A5 Urban farming can happen by design on a more civil scale; why don’t more parks have fruit trees or flowerbeds containing herbs? #CityTalk — ibikelondon blog (@markbikeslondon) January 23, 2013
Educating citizens about food. How? Education. Education. Education. While the fitness and exercise industries are mega-money spinners, campaigns focussed on educating citizens about the benefits of a good diet, and nutritious food seems to take a backseat.
A6. Better food education is critical for people’s health. A lot of people simply do not know enough about food #citytalk — Joe Peach (@thisbigcity) January 23, 2013
<A6> We should be teaching every child about the (health, social & economic) value of good food: youtube.com/watch?v=go_QOz… #CityTalk — Jace Deloney (@JaceDeloney) January 23, 2013
Economic growth and access to food
Economic growth can have a dramatic impact on lifting people out of poverty and significantly enhance their access to food, but it should not be seen as the bullet to solve malnourishment, in particular where vast inequalities still exist even in the developed and wealthy nations.
A7. hunger is a SOCIAL and POLITICAL problem…econ growth partial solution to issues of hunger #citytalk
— Keep It Surly (@surlyurbanist) January 23, 2013
A7. we have hungry people in US. econ growth is not a panacea for hunger. #citytalk
— Keep It Surly (@surlyurbanist) January 23, 2013
A7. Growing economies in some parts of world leading to different forms of malnourishment — obesity.#citytalk
— Mike Ernst (@mikeyernst) January 23, 2013
Traditional dishes of your city?
We ended off our #CityTalk with some yummy thoughts. Tacos, pizza, bagels, pies and mash. But where is the healthy food?
<A8> Breakfast Tacos in Austin #CityTalk
— Jace Deloney (@JaceDeloney) January 23, 2013
A8. New York pizza. And bagels. Yum. But NYC is really a collection of all the great foods of the world! #citytalk
— Redesign Revolution (@RedesignRev) January 23, 2013
A8. east London is famous for pie and mash (YUM) and bagels. Can’t be beat. #citytalk
— Joe Peach (@thisbigcity) January 23, 2013
A8. Indonesian traditional food, from rendang, kerak telor, fish cake to gado-gado… Yummy! #citytalk
— Albertus Prawata (@b_e_r_t_o) January 23, 2013
There is one comment
[…] Our #CityTalk last week which crowdsourced ideas under the heading “Food and the City”, looked at various ways and ideas in which food security, urban farming, economic growth, food wastage and many other food factors impacted cities. […]
Comments are closed.