Foodprint Toronto

[Image: The Ontario Food Terminal; image via Pruned].

Foodprint Toronto is coming up fast—the afternoon of Saturday, July 31—and it will be well worth attending. Pruned has just posted an interview with the event’s curators, Nicola Twilley and Sarah Rich, who explain the origins and purpose of the Foodprint series.

As Nicola describes it: “The Foodprint Project is basically an exploration of the ways cities and food shape each other. So far, it’s taken the form of panel discussions, one city at a time, but Sarah and I are imagining that it will gradually evolve and expand beyond that format as we go along.”

Pruned: Many aspects of urban food systems are inextricably linked to a much wider system within an even wider system, from the regional to the national to the continental and then further on up to the inter-continental scale. But the project, at least in these first two iterations, is squarely focused on the city. Why this focus?

Twilley: I think a large part of the reasoning behind our city-by-city focus is for exactly the reason you describe: urban food systems are inextricably tied to a much wider system—so we can use the former as a way into the latter. In other words, we can talk about NAFTA in terms of the evolution of the Ontario Food Terminal or corn subsidies in terms of bodega inventory. It can be really helpful to have that sort of grounded, place-specific way in to the larger discussion.

Another part of our reasoning is that most people—and more of them everyday—live in cities. Twenty-first-century urbanism is increasingly going to define and reshape our relationship with food: why not try to understand that and even flip it, to see how food could redefine twenty-first-century urbanism?

Sarah adds that “the way we want to look at the relationship between food and cities has a lot to do with urban planning, architecture, infrastructure and the way unintentional or intentional manipulations of physical space can steer patterns of consumption and behavior.”

[Image: Foodprint Toronto is on Saturday, July 31].

Find out more not only by reading the interview, but also by attending the event: it takes place Saturday, July 31, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., at Artscape Wychwood Barns. There is a small entry fee of $5, but also a very long list of great speakers, including recent Prix de Rome co-recipient Lola Sheppard.

(BLDGBLOG, Pruned, and Edible Geography are all part of Future Plural’s blog network).

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