Eat Your City!

Explore, share and design with this cookbook of a city you can eat!

Foodscapes are a way to look at the city through the lense of food. If we look closely at cities, we can see that Food has a very special place in it: it is in our kitchens, in our markets and shops, in our gardens and orchards, and even in our parks. Food tells much about how we are as people, as everyone has different recipes from our families that connects us to our history and our culture. Food also tells us about how we consume and grow, about biological and social history and, if grown and consumed consciously it can help to keep the environment, its biodiversity and our communities healthy. 

How great would it be to have more edible cities? 

This research and design cookbook will get us exploring how to map and design an edible city or neighbourhood. Explore through it the food that grows in your city, the ones that are sold at markets and the ones you find in your kitchen. Share your favourite recipes. Design a Foodscape!

Recipe 1: Explore

In this recipe you will explore where food comes from in your neighbourhood. Ask someone to come along for an exploration trip to your nearest market, community garden, orchard or park. What kind of fruits, vegetables and herbs can you find?

Ingredients: 

  • Camera
  • Scissors
  • Kitchen towel roll
  • A bag or jars for collecting
  • Paper 
  • Masking tape
  • Pens
  • A book

Step by step

Step 1

Go out on a stroll around your block and explore:

  • Take pictures of your favourite foods (if you don’t have a camera, you can also draw them). Is there an apple tree near your house? or a market around the corner? 
  • Take samples of wild herbs or flowers in nature (ask a grown up if this is safe)
  • Take some samples 
  • Bring samples home to make a map

Step 2

Making a map of the foods on your neighbourhood:

  • Print out your favourite pictures
  • Layout your findings on the floor
  • Name your sample plants – If you don’t know the name, invent one for it!
  • Take a picture of your findings and share it with others! 
  • Compare maps with friends in other neighbourhoods or your classmates.

Recipe 2: Favourite Foods

Ingredients:

  • Pen and paper
  • Printer 
  • Markers

Step 1

Write down on the print PDF your favourite recipe. It can be a recipe you invented or something cooked by your family.

  • Where is the recipe originally from?
  • Which ingredients does it have? – Collage them or draw them!
  • Do those ingredients grow in your city? 
  • Where do they come from? 

Recipe 3: Design a Foodscape

Step 1

How would your ideal edible city look like? 

Now you have researched better which foods grow in your city, which you can buy from the markets and shops, and which are in your favourite foods…. Design your own foodscape!

Make a drawing, a collage, a maquette or a picture montage and share with your friends!

Mariana M Balvanera is a spatial and social designer from Mexico based in Amsterdam. Her practice stands in the intersection between social, spatial and artistic practices. Nowadays she is interested in the theme of food for achieving social and environmental sustainability and as a way for democratizing and decolonising knowledge.

www.marianambalvanera.com/

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