May 2010

A resilient idea.

May 22, 2010 11:38 AM
Bronwyn Whyte

Our current food system is not sustainable. Its dependency on fossil fuel and chemical pesticides and fertilizers has exorbitant environmental, social and economic costs for Canada, and the world as a whole. Diet-related illnesses have skyrocketed as a result of the large amounts of cheap and processed foods produced within this system. An abundance of cheap imported food undermines local agricultural and food processing businesses. And in the face of peak oil and climate change this system will fail to measure up. To increase our capacity to deal with these shocks, and generally improve the overall vitality of the food system we will need to create and support a regional food system. Many of the factors needed to do this already exist. However, our current food system undermines their efforts, and to some extent they remain disconnected from each other. To strengthen the movement towards a regional food system there will need to be greater integration by these organizations, as well from government agencies. In the coming decades, we will need to create innovative solutions to bring these groups together so that system-wide change can occur. This project offers such a solution. It brings together the positive facets of our food system that currently exists, with those that will need to be created to ensure a regional food system. To do this it uses the existing infrastructure of malls to house various components of a regional food system. These centers, referred to as Food Innovation Hubs (FIH) will act as a micro regional food system. The fabric and dynamics of malls will increase the FIH’s overall strengthen and reach; while the FIH will add new life to dying malls. This mutually beneficial relationship is one solution to building urban resilience.




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