Friday, April 19, 2024

Urban Food Mapping: Making Visible the Edible City

On 19 March 2024 Routledge launched their latest title 'Urban Food Mapping: Making Visible the Edible City'. This is a particular pleasure as my co-writer (Nina Yiu) and I have a chapter included in the book.

As Routledge states on their website:

'With cities becoming so vast, so entangled and perhaps so critically unsustainable, there is an urgent need for clarity around the subject of how we feed ourselves as an urban species. Urban food mapping becomes the tool to investigate the spatial relationships, gaps, scales and systems that underlie and generate what, where and how we eat, highlighting current and potential ways to (re)connect with out diet, ourselves and our environments.

Richly explored, using over 200 mapping images in 25 selected chapters, this book identifies urban food mapping as a distinct activity and area of research that enables a more nuanced way of understanding the multiple issues facing contemporary urbanism and the manyfold roles food spaces play within it. The authors of this multidisciplinary volume extend their approaches to place making, storytelling, in-depth observation and imagining liveable futures and engagement around food systems, thereby providing a comprehensive picture of our daily food flows and intrastructures. Their images and essays combine theoretical, methodological and practical analysis and applications to examine food through innovative map-making that empowers communities and inspires food planning authorities. The first book to systematise urban food mapping showcases and bridges disciplinary boundaries to make theoretical concepts as well as practical experiences and issues accessible and attractive to a wide audience, from the activist to the academic, the professional and the amateur. It will be of interest to those involved in the all-important work around food cultures, food security, urban agriculture, land rights, environmental planning and design who wish to create a more beautiful, equitable and sustainable urban environment.'

Book Cover Image

Further details on the book can be found on Routledge's website here.

...or on Amazon's website here.

It has been quite a journey for us from the initial exploratory walks within the Phu My Hung area of District 7 in Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon), Vietnam to the eventual publication of the book chapter that is included within this wonderful compilation. All the work that has been done, including drafting, drawing, revisions rewrites...have all been worth it and the two editors, Katrin Bohn and Mickey Tomkins should be very proud of this contribution to the field. The final pleasure now is for us to read and discover the work all the other contributors have been engaged with. 

The abstract to our chapter runs as follows:

Walking out for Dinner: Discovering and mapping food choices in Saigon


This chapter outlines a perambulatory project undertaken in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, in which the two authors set out to discover the extent of food choices that are discoverable on foot within a local area of the city. 
The project builds upon previous work mapping the varieties of ambient colours that could be recorded while walking within the same part of Saigon. This information was collated into a map of the area indicating where each colour was collected. 
It is intended to collate the current project data into an alternative map of the same area within the city.
District 7 is a relatively new area in the city, developed to cater for the growing population of the city. This district is comprised predominantly of wealthy Vietnamese with the addition of a large percentage of Koreans along with numbers of Taiwanese, Indian and Western expats.
Developing out of a series of walking-based art projects, the plan is to set out on foot each day during the same week, Monday to Friday, in order to discover the incidence and popularity of different types of food available to cater for the multi-cultural nature of the local residents. 
At the end of the week, the collected data will be combined into a map displaying the geographical location and the number of each type of food establishment discovered during the five walks. The resulting cartographic image would employ colours and graphic notation to differentiate the various cuisine choices. 
Keywords: Walking Art, Conceptual Cartography, Psychogeography

The completed book revealed 

Friday, March 8, 2024

'40 Minute Diameter Leeds' - Terminalia Festival 2024

 As part of 4WCoP 2022 (Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography), Mathilda Guerin created a project entitled 'Walking Webs', inviting people to participate by creating a walking web of their own city and I created my own walking web in Leeds, my home town in the UK. 

My walking web was created, according to the supplied instructions, by walking from a selected starting point, North, South East and West. Along each of these axes, we were asked to walk for 10 minutes and 20 minutes respectively and to take a photograph at each of these points. It was then possible to connect up all four of the 10 minute points and also the 20 points.

My walking web, and the photos taken after walking for 10 minutes and 20 minutes can be seen here:

Walking Web showing the Starting Point, 10 Minute and 20 Minute Points

Walking Web showing the photographs taken at all the points

I try to participate in the annual Terminalia Festival each year and so for the 2024 edition I chose part of the walking web I had created previously as this conveniently marks out an area of the city with a perimeter roughly 20 minutes from the centre

On Thursday 23 February 2024 I started walking from the northern point, at the north side of the Sheepscar Junction, walking clockwise.

40 Minute Diameter Leeds Walking Route

North to East Section

Sheepscar Street North - Barrack Road - Roundhay Road - Bayswater Road - Gledhow Road - St. James's Hospital - Alma Street - Beckett Street - Stoney Rock Lane - Torre Road - Rigton Drive - Haslewood Drive - York Road

Barrack Road, site of the old Chapeltown Barracks, constructed in 1820, largely demolished in 1988

David Beevers Day Unit, St. James's Hospital. I previously worked in the David Beevers Operating Theatres between 1978-1980

The Fountain Head pub, formerly The Florence Nightingale, opposite St. James's hospital on Beckett Street. I visited this pub many times when I finished my shift working in the hospital, 1978-1980. The Florence Nightingale eventually closed after a large gas explosion

The former Regent Picture House on Torre Road opened in 1916, designed by Frank Mitchell (Leeds Architect). The final film shown was The Bounty Hunters, starring Yul Brynner before it closed in 1971

East to South Section

York Road - Pontefract Lane - Oxley Street - Clark Lane - Temple View - Easy Road - Cross Green Lane -  South Accommodation Road - Grape Street - Jack Lane - Parkfield Street - M621

York Road, on screen

The former Princess Cinema on Pontefract Lane opened in 1923, designed by J.P. Crawford (Leeds Architect). The final feature film shown was Roustabout starring Elvis Presley before it closed in 1965

A rainbow above Echo Central following a shower

Crossing the River Aire, South Accommodation Road

Ambassador House, former home of the Environmental Health Services

Former headquarters of the Hunslet Engine Company, 1864-1995, in Jack Lane, closed in 1995 with the last order being a batch of narrow gauge diesel locomotives for the tunnelling on the Jubilee Line Extension of the London Underground

South to East Section

M621 - Jack Lane - New Princess Street - Holbeck Moor Road - Domestic Street - Spence Lane - A58 - Old Roundhouse

Holbeck Moor, a fork in the path...Leeds United fans would take the path to the left, which leads to Elland Road, I took the path to the right toward Domestic Street

'We're gonna stay with you forever' by Burley Bansky. MOT. This area has many other examples of his work

Footpath under construction alongside the Armley Gyratory road junction. at the present time it resembles an outdoor installation of site specific art pieces and is probably more visual interesting than the final state will be

East to North Section

Old Roundhouse - Wellington Road - Marlborough Street - Burley Street - Park Lane - Hannover Square - Kendal Lane - Victoria Street - Clarendon Road - University Road - Cavendish Road - Woodhouse Lane - Blenheim Walk - Blackman Lane - Leicester Place - Carlton Hill - Oatland Lane - Oatland Road - Meanwood Road - Barrack Street - Sheepscar Junction

Hanover Square is a Georgian public square consisting of at least six buildings that are Grade II listed

Part of the churchyard wall, All Souls Church in the Blenheims area of Leeds. It is as though the earth breathed and revealed humankind's inflexibility

A fallen tree in Blenheim Park...the latest, unplanned addition to the children's playground facilities

Monday, February 26, 2024

'Let Us See You' - APS Gallery, Air Place Studios, Kirkstall, Leeds, UK

The opportunity to exhibit the sculpture Breaking Ground 2023 came along in the form of the exhibition Let Us See You, organised by the Air Place Studios on Kirkstall Road, Leeds, UK.

This collective comprises creative studios, workshop spaces and a gallery space can be found on Kirkstall Road, opposite ITV Yorkshire (Television House) and Kirkstall Brewery. 

Breaking Ground was initially made for the exhibition Borrow Pit, an exhibition organised by the Yorkshire Sculptors Group. The concept behind the work was not to create a piece of work that has a fully resolved, fixed state that will not change or transform anymore. On the contrary, the idea behind this work was to allow further changes and transformations to occur as and when the need arises, and for slightly different configurations to be attempted according to the space and environment. It is therefore expected that this particular work will gradually evolve and change over time.

The exhibition opened on 23 February and will continue until 22 March 2024. Visiting times at the APS Gallery are on Fridays, 11am-3pm. Please contact the gallery to book a visit here:

Breaking Ground, 2023 (Installation photo)

Breaking Ground, 2023 (Installation photo)

Aire Place Studios have been providing accessible creative spaces for artists, freelancers and small business since 2015, supporting over 1500 artists and a home for small businesses for around 340 individuals. Recently, the buildings in which APS have housed their studio spaces and gallery have been sold to developers and APS have initiated  a crowdfunding drive in an attempt to secure new premises, retain its staff and support its studio members.

If you would like to help APS survive and continue the work they have been doing in Leeds, please visit the crowdfunding page here: