LUP-36306 Foodscapes, Urban Lifestyles and Transition

Course

Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Lecture16
Practical40
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. GJ Carsjens
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. GJ Carsjens
EJ Veen
dr. ir. LI Bouwman
prof. dr. AJJ van der Valk
Examiner(s)dr. ir. GJ Carsjens

Language of instruction:

English

Contents:

Today, landscape architects and planners are confronted with new challenges such as the shaping of foodscapes. Foodscapes are places and spaces where food is produced, processed, acquired, distributed, consumed and the waste processed. Foodscapes can be found everywhere in both urban and rural areas. The notion of foodscape is increasingly being used within landscape design, spatial planning, health promotion and food studies as a tool to describe our food environments and to assess the potential impact on food choice and food behaviour. Foodscape is a concept of growing importance on the path towards more sustainable and healthy lifestyles.
Food is a socio-technical system and as such is shaped by everyday practices that are performed in specific places. The food system is enacted by the repetitive performances of everyday food practices. Transitioning the food system involves changing the practices that constitute and reproduce them. Cities in this perspective are tightly bundled agglomerations of everyday practices, and are the stages on which healthier and more sustainable practices are created, performed and, repeated, until they become everyday activities. Cities are therefore uniquely positioned to change food practices, and by doing so transition socio-technical regimes like food and sustainable environmental management. Municipal policies, programs, and infrastructure influence practices, while activists, political leaders and media teachers shape our understanding of practices. By strategically influencing food practices, cities can potentially advance public health, improve the environment and economy, and ultimately transform the food system.
Lifestyles represent practices comprised of interests, opinions, behaviours, and behavioural orientations of an individual, group, or culture. Hence, lifestyles reflect values and world views, including views on politics, religion, health, music, sexuality and food. Cities are hotbeds of lifestyle change. Food habits and convictions can be construed as part of a lifestyle such as conventional, locavore or ecological. Various lifestyles are associated with disparate foodscapes.
Contemporary food practices and the consequent shaping of food places and spaces can be framed as social practices contributing to or deriving from the path to sustainability. Food and its manifold spatial manifestations is key to understanding emerging alternative niches which may eventually have a positive impact on unsustainable spatial structures and institutions. Research by design and the exploration of alternative spatial arrangements among others may provide tools for opening up views on sustainable foodscapes and healthy lifestyles.
This course focuses on advanced theories and concepts in the domain of sustainable food planning, planning for healthier lifestyles and management of healthier and more sustainable social practices. Theories and concepts are presented through a reading list and in lectures and elaborated and applied in a practical assignment.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify various foodscapes and the physical and social characteristics attached to them;
- explain the rationales of competing foodscapes and the underlying lifestyles;
- understand the linkages between public health, lifestyles and foodscapes;
- distinguish dominant discourses in the domain of health and food and their relevance for landscape design and planning;
- apply current approaches to landscape design and planning to the domain of health and food;
- show a critical reflexive understanding of advanced theories and design concepts pertaining to health lifestyles and food in landscape design and planning.

Activities:

The educational activities include:
- lectures, scheduled in the first four weeks of the course, with each week having its own theme;
- studying literature connected to the lectures;
- group work, including a foodscape related assignment taken from municipal practice;
- excursion to the study area of the group assignment.

Examination:

The final grade for the course will be assembled from the scores of a written examination (50%) and the group work (50%). Both scores have to meet a minimum grade of 5.5.
The score for the group work includes an overall mark for the group results and an assessment of group members that allows to differentiate in the group grade.
The written examination includes open-ended questions. The questions are drawn from the lectures and related compulsory literature (book and scientific papers).

Literature:

A book and scientific papers are available through blackboard.

ProgrammePhaseSpecializationPeriod
Restricted Optional for: MLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningMSc2AF