Flourishing Foodscapes – Han Wiskerke & Saline Verhoeven
The resident of a house without a refrigerator has little need for a supermarket chain that sells cartons of imported milk. Residents of poorer neighborhoods of Dar es Salaam therefore share the cooling of dukas. These neighborhood shops with extended opening hours therefore play an important role in their social life. This apparently self-evident example makes it clear that the logic of a kitchen is related to the system of food distribution in a community and the agricultural production in a region.
Connecting the different scales is one of the design principles that Han Wiskerke and Saline Verhoeven propose in the book Flourishing Foodscapes. Landscapes that go beyond the production of our food and strengthen the social significance for farmers and consumers. The authors explicitly do not focus on the well-known examples of urban agriculture. Based on a thorough analysis they look at the relationship between food and space. They rightly note that the separation between city and countryside is outdated. Food landscapes are complex regional systems that face many challenges, a nexus of food, health, climate change, energy, water, environmental quality and social inequality. These are related problems that are largely caused by the way we deal with our food.
For designers looking for inspiration outside the vegetable garden and hobby chicken
Yet this book is hopeful, thanks to the power of the design. Both developed and green example projects show realistic alternatives for current sectoral practice. Food is not always the starting point. Water and waste are higher on the agenda and are more likely to lead to concrete changes. Food can be cleverly added. And if food forms the basis? Three utopian designs for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area show a hopeful future is ahead, even for this agro-industrial foodscape.
The book offers clear principles for designers looking for inspiration outside the vegetable garden and hobby chicken. But actually everyone who works on an integrated environmental vision should try these food perspectives. There’s more to explore than just the agricultural sector.
Everyone working on an integrated environmental vision should try these food perspectives
This review appeared in Ruimte + Wonen #1/2019
Flourishing Foodscapes is available at Valiz.