Sitopia, how food shapes our cities

“If you look at the map of any city built before the industrial age, you can trace food coming in to it. You can actually see how it was physically shaped by food, both by reading the names of the streets, which give you a lot of clues. Friday Street, in a previous life, is where you went to buy your fish on a Friday. But also you have to imagine it full of food. Because the streets and the public spaces were the only places where food was bought and sold. “
Rome map, ancient food miles

Carolyn Steel is a British architect and the author of the book Hungry city. She looks at cities from the perspective of food. Looking at food networks offers a way to explore how cities evolved. One of the most interesting things about Foods and Cities is the great number of aspects it touches: fair trade, dietary habits, cooking skills, urban planning, regional development, community involvement, economy and agriculture, but also sustainability at a local and global scale. She coined the word sitopia, from the ancient Greek words sitos (food) and topos (place). Sitopia is a way of recognizing the central role that food plays in our lives and of harnessing its potential to shape the world in a better way.

Picture: betterymagazine