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Accepted Paper:

Occupying and experiencing the map: the map and diagram as tools to reveal urban food futures  

Authors:

Andre Viljoen (University of Brighton)
Mikey Tomkins (University of Brighton)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents selected examples of several differing qualitative and quantitative approaches to deep mapping, pursued by the authors, to explore the potential of urban environments to produce food. Complex data emerges, showing how agile sustainability needs to be.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will present examples of several differing qualitative and quantitative approaches to mapping, pursued by the authors, that explore the potential of urban environments to produce food. These different mapping techniques offer a rich and diverse set of tools to enable deep mapping of existing situations and most importantly glimpses of future scenarios for lifestyles more in-tune with equity, equality and the environment.

Approaches range from physical mappings such as scale architectural diagrams, opportunity maps, hand-drawn maps, aesthetic and experiential mappings. Participatory walks, go-along interviews, food rituals, and pop-up events complement the physical mappings. Go-along interviews record in-depth conversation as people move about their neighbourhoods where local knowledge is fully embedded in its own social and cultural context, showing the city as more than a physical space devoid of emotion or story. Or using costume or events such as picnics to simulate food growing ritual and customs in the context of urban harvest and communal eating. Aesthetic and experimental mappings, showing how every day utilitarian objects such as greenhouses used for food growing can be seen as objects with their own rich materiality, contributing positively to our experience and comprehension of our environment.

Such practices build a complex and sometimes contradictory set of data that shows how sustainability needs to be agile. It cannot state simply "I am here" in the singular, but "I am also here, and also here", moving in several directions at once through strategy, innovation, crisis, and the incremental towards sustained changed.

Panel MA01a
Mapping the Edible City: Making visible communities and food spaces in the city