The question of how to feed cities may be one of the biggest contemporary questions, yet it’s never asked: we take for granted that if we walk into a store or a restaurant, food will be there, magically coming from somewhere. Yet, think of it this way: just in London, every single day, 30 million meals must be provided. Without a reliable food supply, even the most modern city would collapse quickly. And most people today eat food of whose provenance they are unaware.Architect and author Carolyn Steel uses food as a medium to “read” cities and understand how they work. In her book Hungry City she traces — and puts into historical context — food’s journey from land to urban table and thence to sewer. Cities, like people, are what they eat.
Speakers at this year’s annual Holistic Options for Planet Earth Sustainability (HOPES) conference April 4-6 include TED speaker and author Carolyn Steel, Nike, Inc.’s Wilson Smith, MIT designer Neri Oxman, architect Lola Sheppard of Lateral Office, and landscape architect, sociologist, and UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Randy Hester, among many others. The event is free and open to the public.
HOPES is a student-run forum dedicated to design, sustainability, activism, and ecology begun in 1995. University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts Dean Frances Bronet terms the event “the largest student-run sustainability conference in the world.” The UO Ecological Design Center will host the gathering on the UO campus.