Architecture and Urban Design meets Food In The City – November 2020

{Blog photo: Sasaki‘s plans for Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District in Shanghai]

Green cities in the context of food production in urban spaces is the focus of our Food in the City talk in November. This time we had one of the most popular meetups so far, and were happy to see so many new faces. A good opportunity to learn and to share experience and inspiration. The discussion unfolded from interdisciplinary connections between art, food and various urban design concepts.

Talking about Solarpunk, Urban Design and the Future of Food in Cities

Eugen Litwinow – Managing Director of Ellery Studio, Berlin kicked off the session by introducing us to Solarpunk as a concept and to the Solarpunk festival which represents an optimistic vision of our future. Eugen talked about the future’s cone, the relationship between films and technology, and the role of Solarpunk as a genre that understands itself as radically optimistic. Solarpunk festival is a place where the potential of science and technology are explored, where individuals can meet with the artists, and can together create prototypes for a positive future. Moreover, he pointed out that, it is important to know that if we are against something, it is also important to know what we are for ! This way we can focus on how radical optimism can support better food production in our futures and dialogue can be started using such frameworks. If you would like to understand more about the concept of Solarpunk, you may find it here.

Paola Bagna – an architect and designer based in Berlin and Empuriabrava (http://paolabagna.com/) shared with us next. She is researching the relation between food and urban architecture. She shared with us the idea of the future she wishes to see. Paola would like to see the future of a community and urban design that promotes the sharing economy!

As more and more people come to cities and we have less space to work with, sharing would be an important component. Paula sees a future where people share more to balance their tendencies to buy more as a consumer of things and services.

Antje Marx – an urban planner and sustainable development specialist talked about the concept of food citizens and urban food needs. She talked about the significance of knowledge around food. It is important that people know how their food is produced & where it is coming from.

Above all, in children and students, building knowledge about food in schools is not easy because it is a lot of strain on the teacher to explain such things practically and in detail. Certainly we need more educational solutions that help the schools to implement this knowledge and help students understand clearly about their food and its production.

She mentioned that, if we have proper knowledge about food we can manage a healthy diet or food practices without having to make it expensive. For example she gave us a few examples about projects like ‘Kantine der Zukunft’ (future’s canteens), which is an initiative that is transforming the public canteens to promote sustainable food practices.  

Leonard Schrage – a Berlin-based interdisciplinary designer and researcher (http://leonardschrage.com/) talked about living systems, a project where architecture and technology meet sustainable living practices. He talked about various activities that have to be addressed from the sustainability point of view in and around Berlin city. He added that there are a lot of factors involved in architecture and urban design that can impact the food in the city and they are mostly under interdisciplinary areas of planning. Hence more research should be initiated in such areas. He also mentioned a new project of his, Unfold, which works to bring transparency to the food value chain.

Incorporating food in urban design and planning may seem futuristic, however it is an important topic that currently needs the attention of all planners and designers. A few years ago, incorporating sustainability in construction practices became an important step in this direction. Similarly, our relation to food production also needs to be studied and practices need to be developed and incorporated in the design and planning of public buildings and housing units moving forward.

Bosco verticale Milano | Image: Marco Sala | License details Copyright: All rights reserved.

What were our key takeaways from this meetup?

When we think about architecture in green cities and urban design and its relation with the food, it highlights the following things:

  • Knowledge about food comes first! This knowledge can become the foundation for building urban areas based on sustainable design practices.
  • Interdisciplinary research is crucially important when it comes to the understanding of our food, nutrition, and the ways those things are related to our surroundings. 
  • A dialogue about food & urban planning needs to be started to make our future cities more aware of their food practices
  • Incorporating urban farming into urban design to extract maximum usage of the open and regenerative spaces inside the city is a paradigm we must collectively push forward

Can Farmlyplace do something for you?

Absolutely! 🙂 If you are someone who is interested in educational programming around how to grow your food using urban farming or if you are an architect, an urban planner. If you are technical personnel who wants to know how and which urban farming systems can be integrated into your projects, check out our website and feel free to contact us at info@farmlyplace.com.

Education and Learning

We have an educational program at our Kiezfarm – our community farm. If you need to know more about educational programs for your institution or organisation, check out the video below. You may contact us with your requirements using this form and we will arrange a tailor-made program only for you!

Farmlyplace Channel on Youtube / Video

For architects, urban planning professional and project managers:

You can easily incorporate urban farming systems in your design or project work to make it more sustainable and advanced. Our TOMATO+ Horto 4 Indoor Farm in Gastro Qualität could be interesting for you. You may fill out this form with your requirements and will get back to you with all the details.

Farmlyplace Channel on Youtube / Video

About the monthly Food in the City meetups:

Come and join the monthly meetup on every last Wednesday of the month: Farmlyplace hosts ‘Food in the City’ for You! These meetups provide an opportunity to network in a relaxed manner. At every meetup we invite food in the city advocates to talk about a certain theme in relation to their innovative work and to discuss the challenges/opportunities they face. The meetups are a space to generate new ideas and collaborations around the future of food and the local food economy. 

A benefit of networking in such a local manner is that you get to know more about how you can help or play a role in the local businesses/organisations around you. Farmlyplace is based in Berlin, however anyone is welcome to join the online format of meetups from anywhere in the world. Our blogs will keep you updated with our key takeaways from these meetups and hopefully inspire you to learn about similar businesses/organisations in your community!  

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About the upcoming meetup:

In December, we are looking forward to having a seasonal summary with an informal, very casual gathering – Hope to see you there! 🙂

This post is also available in: English (Englisch)

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