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.
After much debacle and “charetting” at SWA on Friday, we came together as a group today to vividly express our vision for what Vernon could be.
To go into more detail about what has happened, it is evident to reveal what we know, what we don’t know, and what we could know…in terms of investigating all the viable opportunities of Vernon.
For now, our area of study within our group deals with the criticisms of the food system and how Vernon can be an agent of change within this region.
Food systems and food prosperity is an issue that I can say I have an extreme interest in. After watching a few provocative documentaries about the manufacturing and processing procedures within our industrialized food system, I am so appalled. I’m more upset at the fact that I’ve allowed myself to be blinded by the corporate politics for so long, but fast forward to a couple years and I do proclaim myself as a clean eating aficionado. It took a lot of retrospective speculation and a lot of trial and error, but my body now thanks me for it.
In correlation to what we are emphasizing in our “big idea” for Vernon, this purpose of providing a better community for the masses that inhabit this place on a temporary basis could be a projection model for other industrial cities throughout the world. Providing not only adequate systems, but sustainable clean product systems that reuse the contents should have the potential to be something that the global economy should not turn a blind eye to. It’s something we should look forward to, something to anticipate with eagerness and not anxiety.