8th Informed Cities Forum

Webinar with Carolyn Steel

"Sitopia: rethinking our lives through food"


Even though the 8th Informed Cities Forum, scheduled to take place on 2-3 April 2020 in Lucca, Italy, was cancelled, we believe that fruitful discussions are possible, even when we can't meet in person.

The first Informed Cities webinar – "Sitopia: rethinking our lives through food” – was streamed live on 2 April 2020 at 13:30 CET. It included a presentation from the London-based architect and speaker, Carolyn Steel, author of “Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives” and the recently published “Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World”.

Carolyn was prepared to give a keynote presentation on 3 April at the now-cancelled 8th Informed Cities Forum, but agreed to rework her talk to also reflect - in real time - on how the pandemic experience can offer opportunities to make real and lasting change for more sustainable food systems. We are happy to share the video of the webinar with you now.

To download Carolyn's presentation, please click here.

In this webinar, Carolyn takes us on a historical journey of city-region development through the lens of food, from ancient civilisations to the global mega cities of today. She notes phenomena emerging from the crisis that are stressing the global and local food supply – things we knew that could happen in theory, but never experienced in practice at this scale, like migrant labour shortages or a mass exodus of workers from urban to rural areas.

Our webinar audience, which included 314 participants,  was extremely engaged and asked over 30 fantastic thought-provoking questions. Unfortunately, Carolyn wasn’t able to answer even a small fraction of them with the time we had, so we’ve agreed to follow up with her to record another one-hour webinar to answer more of the questions without the time pressure. Listen to these thoughts and more during Episode 1 of “Happy Hour with Carolyn Steel”!

About the speaker

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Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities. Her 2008 book, "Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives", received international acclaim, establishing her as an influential voice across a range of fields in academia, industry and the arts. It has been translated into seven languages and has become a key text for architects, planners, green thinkers and food professionals.

A London-based architect, academic and writer, Carolyn has lectured at Cambridge University, London Metropolitan University, Wageningen University and the London School of Economics. She is in international demand as a speaker and her 2009 TED talk has received more than one million views. Her new book, "Sitopia: How Food Can Save the World", was recently published by Chatto & Windus.


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