Today we attended the URP Department’s Dale Prize Winner Colloquium. The theme of this year’s symposium was Urban Food Systems and the speakers that received the accolades were Heather Wooten and Dr. Samina Raja.
They discussed a topic that has long been awaited to make its debut in the realm of Urban Planning and I happen to be an advocate of.
Urban Planners are responsible for large infrastructure that makes up the workings of a bustling metropolis, but with eyes that are so omnipresent, little details have seen to be forgotten. Where planners have placated roadways and massive transects of transportation, a larger narrative takes place inside the homes and inside the community.
Through the intense process of urbanization, our food systems have suffered a great deal. Where cities were once places for open markets for fresh food and fresh conversation, cities have now given way to the automobile. Dividing communities and leaving the food system in disrepair. Our society now thinks of food in synonymous with branding. Who doesn’t recognize Doritos, Oreos, or any Pillsbury products? But take a look at the nutritional breakdown of these said foods and almost no value equates to them.
As a fresh food advocate myself and anticipating City Planning in my post graduate life, I found this conversation to reorganize cities to better serve the people at such an intimate level. There is nothing more intimate and more personal than the sharing of food. It is a source of triangulation that should have more focus because there are so many issues regarding urban food systems and food security.