Planning & Environment

Attended the Patrick Geddes memorial lecture last night where Carolyn Steel gave a really interesting talk on Food and Cities. Carolyn is an architect by profession but in recent years her working life has been devoted to considering issues of food sustainability, and the dysfunctional relationship between the food life cycle (from field to plate) and current patterns of urban living, including spatial planning of our settlements. Some scary statistics included the fact that it apparently takes 10 calories of energy to produce every single calorie of food that we eat.

The Mayor of London’s strategy on Healthy and Sustainable Food for London shows that attempts are being made to put some of the theory into practice. Cultivating Food Connections published by the Public Health Department in Toronto was also highlighted as a trailblazer in this area. Will our Scottish cities be following suit?

Anyone interested in finding out more should look at Carolyn’s website. After all, anyone who can reference Aristotle, Socrates, and McDonald’s in one breath has to be worth a look!

Karen Hamilton

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