Conference Brief

The city and the food system are both complex and interrelated networks. In recent years, planners, doctors, environmental scientists, and the food community have globally diagnosed both as unhealthy. The symptoms these systems face are obvious: culture, mobility, wealth, and availability of healthy food. The root causes of the situation are not as obvious and are worthy of further exploration to foster urgently needed changes.

“Territorial Repercussions” will explore the local interconnectedness between food and the city and how food and city as a unit could address the shift in locally available health food/care. We will focus on two issues related to food- health and its availability.

In this one-day symposium we will interrogate/investigate two of the latent forces which shape the present situation. In defining latency, we seek to expose the borders, segregations, unmarked territories, and hidden barriers and obstacles. There is a need for making healthy food choices visible and accessible in areas that are currently highly compromised.

With an interdisciplinary group of specialists, fostering open inclusive discussions among participants, the event will explore the political, social and design tactics of urban rehabilitation. In the morning session we will discuss how we can leverage the city to enable a healthier food ecosystem. Through the use of the pervasive public space of the sidewalk, can healthy food take on a new role in our diets? By punctuating public space with open-air markets and semi-permanent health food stands, can we increase accessibility? If we link sidewalks, which exist everywhere, with nourishing food, which is sparse, would people be encouraged and become accustomed to switching habits? How does modifying public space to sell healthy food change the city, culturally and physically?

In the afternoon program we will focus on the second critical element: the need for accessible preventive education about nutrition provided by health care organizations. Introducing the concept of local, easily and equitably available providers more integrated in every part of the cityscape, a development that is critical to the well-being of the citizens. How do we achieve such a pervasive, visible and widely available service? How will it reach us all with correct information and early prevention screenings? Can the future of health care be more disseminated, visible and transparent, and if so how?

This day in Los Angeles dedicated to discuss the root causes of how food, health, and our city have become intrinsically interconnected, The conference will be linked to parallel conversations in Milano, Italy. This international discussion linked to the Milano EXPO 2015 proposes both a local and global analysis of existing negative patterns and seeks opportunities to instigate changes leading to a community in which the food system can equitably provide access to nutrition. Join us to explore the relationship between food and the city and how one informs and deforms the other!

A One Day Conference about Food, Health, and Social Justice in Urban Planning

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