Greening our cities requires action on a whole number of fronts. Transportation and energy figure prominently in the equation. Getting people out of single-occupancy cars and into alternate modes of transportation, including bicycling and public transportation is one step. Building smart so as to minimize the amount of energy consumed in building, heating, and cooling buildings, and getting to and from them (think proximity to public transportation nodes) is another. But there are other fronts, too. One of them is food.
Food systems are as much a part of greening our cities as transportation and energy systems. What we eat and where we buy it has significant impacts on the environment and, of course, on human health. More calls have been made to bring the farm back to the city. Locally grown produce requires less energy to transport the ultimate consumer. It also tastes better, encouraging people to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. This of course ties back to health care. People who eat right require less medical care, and this savings inures to their benefit and those who insure them. Work on health care reform should include work on what we eat.
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 6:31pm.
This afternoon I met Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore's Dilemma. His writing about local food systems has already inspired me. The movement toward buying locally grown food ties in well with my own advocacy for open air markets, including farmer's markets and street vendors. I went to an event sponsored by Dosa, Inc. in Los Angeles where I heard Pollan was going to speak, expecting to hear more about local food. I learned so much more than that.
Pollan didn't speak about food per se, but rather about collaboration. He engaged in a converstation with his wife, Judith Belzor, an artist, and Christina Kim, a fashion designer. The theme of the talk was collaboration. Pollan and Belzor shared space while each worked on their own project, and Pollan, an editor by training, would "edit" the artwork being created by Belzor, suggesting an addition here and a deletion there. Kim and Belzor collabored on an art installation, with Kim supplying the space-- an open and airy top floor of an old Broadway office building-- and Belzor supplying the art that fit so well with the space.
"There is a myth that the artist creates in solitude," said Pollan. Artists are part of an artistic tradition and context, and so collaboration is an essential part of the creative process.
Submitted by Gregg Kettles on Fri, 05/29/2009 - 8:24pm.
Kenny Cupers is joining in with much interesting work found at:
Please follow his work!
ciao from Florence!
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Sat, 05/23/2009 - 2:05pm.
Hello from Berlin Germany!
I'm giving two lectures here at the Tech University of Berlin - found here:
The first is obvious - it has my name on it and went well - the ppt is on Markets Journal.
The second is tomorrow morning - part of a workshop organized by two PhD candidates who are affiliated with the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Noa Ha and Kristina Graaff, and what a great conference they have put together.
Street commerce is not well developed here in Berlin - the reasons are complex and perhaps I, or someone else will explore them in another post. But, having said that there is some activity on the street, itinerant vendors and some who seem to locate in the day after day...in any case this conference is focused on comparative vending in the U.S. and Germany and I'm excited to hear the work which will be presented tomorrow!
Submitted by Alfonso Morales on Fri, 05/15/2009 - 1:39am.