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 

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