Online: Carolyn Steel – Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World

This is the third in a new seminar series The Living Memory of Cities, convened in collaboration with Eric Parry Architects and CUBE.

About this event

Join us for The Living Memory of Cities, a seminar series convened in collaboration with Eric Parry Architects and the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE), London Metropolitan University. The series continues with Carolyn Steel's presentation entitled Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World.

Living in a modern city, it can be hard to ‘see’ food: industrialisation has obscured the vital supply chains without which our lives would swiftly grind to a halt: the complex supply chains that transport food from the lands and seas where it is produced to our markets, supermarkets, cafes, kitchens and tables. Yet whether or not we see it, food’s influence is everywhere: in our bodies, habits, homes, politics, economics, cities, landscapes and climate. We live in a world shaped by food: a place I call ‘sitopia’ (from Greek sitos, food + topos, place). By failing to value food, however, we have created a bad sitopia. Climate change, deforestation, soil erosion, water depletion, pollution, mass extinction, diet-related disease and now a global pandemic are just some of the ‘externalities’ of the way we eat. Our lives are built on the illusion of cheap food, while in reality so such thing exists. Only by restoring food’s true value and harnessing its power better can we hope to thrive on our crowded, overheating planet. Sitopia is not utopia; yet by valuing food and consciously shaping the world through it, we can come close to the utopian dream of a healthy, fair and resilient society.

Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities. An award-winning writer, architect and academic, she is the author of Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives (2008) and Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World (2020). Her concept of sitopia, or food-place, has gained international recognition across a broad range of fields in design, ecology, academia and the arts. A director of Kilburn Nightingale Architects in London, Carolyn studied architecture at Cambridge University under Dalibor Vesely, Peter Carl and Eric Parry and subsequently taught at Cambridge, London Metropolitan and Wageningen Universities and at the London School of Economics, where she was the inaugural director of the Cities programme. Carolyn is in international demand as a speaker and her 2009 TED talk, How Food Shapes Our Cities, has received more than one million views. She is currently a Research Fellow with Aeres University in the Netherlands and in August 2020 she was featured in a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.

Image: Effects of Good Government by Amborogio Lorenzetti

A medieval street scene

Details

Date/time Online: Wednesday 13 January 2021, from 5pm to 6.30pm
Watch on You Tube Carolyn Steel – Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World
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Carolyn Steel "Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World"

This was the third in The Living Memory of Cities, a seminar series convened in collaboration with Eric Parry Architects and the Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE), London Metropolitan University. The series continues with Carolyn Steel's presentation entitled "Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World".