“system changes”: a glimpse on the food system.

When I started two of the reading for this week, the first about the food and agriculture system, and the second about city farming. I was introduced into a thematic both complex and challenger. Understanding in a broad conceptual framework and propose possible solutions or remediations also has both of the particularities of this topic.

Summarizing the outlines problems in the global food system, I discover that it suffers from severe structural ailments, which dates back from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution end become worse with the end of the World War II. The environment where food is produced has experience threats that are the result of decades of soil and water overuse, chemicals, synthetic fertilizer, water contamination, the transform of rural lands into urban, and lastly, climate change (Hesterman, 2011). The diet eaten by our society and its health consuming the above unappetizing result has generated: a lack of access to healthy food, different illness, diseases (Hesterman, 2011). Finally, a social issue related to the producing chain of food and the final stage of the system when the people involved in this punitive system is personally affected (Hesterman, 2011). It is also noteworthy that other related issues in the urbanism and architecture fields are also to consider. The increasingly ecological footprint of cities, continuously waste of energy and money on every level of the system, loss of the traditional context rural/urban symbiosis, lack of awareness of agricultural or food topics by the urban population, spread of brownfields or public space underuse (Hough, 2004).

Facing the solutions or remediations to solve all the issues above mention are also many. For every problem, there must be unlimited proposals and ideas. I will like to enumerate some that awakens my interest and also has started going around in my head as future concepts. The proposed of encouraging planting orchards and keeping some farm animals close or in the cities (Hough, 2004), the support of organic and local food production (Hesterman, 2011), the use of rooftops or unpopulated urban areas for food-related entrepreneurship (Hough, 2004), replicating old campaign employed in times of shortage (Hough, 2004), and finally Oran invitation to encourage the change of the current system that is self-destroying us (Hesterman, 2011).

Trying to draft some thoughts I would like to express the following ideas. I feel captivated to propose urban design projects where notion of city farming is always implemented; farmer markets as the core of mix use neighbors, persuasible distances to locate other food sales, versatile open spaces capable of serving as multi porpuses uses, densification and renovation of old structures to avoid occupying farmland, rural land open for variety of purposes without displacing valuable farmland but generating resources. Moreover, that the chances of “systems change” does not stop, each action counts nowadays.


Oran B. Hesterman. 2011. Fair food: growing a healthy, sustainable food system for all. New York: PublicAffairs. – Chapters: 02. The Problem is (pg. 21 – 45)

Michael Hough, 2004. Cities and Natural Process: A Basis for Sustainability (London: Routledge, 2004, second ed.) – Chapter: 5. City Farming (pg. 160 – 188)



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