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How food shapes our lives

12 April 2010

Press release

With the urban population set to double by 2050, a guest speaker at Cardiff University will argue that we will need to rethink, not just how we feed cities, but our entire concept of urbanity.

In a lecture hosted by the School of City and Regional Planning, award-winning architect, writer and lecturer Carolyn Steel will ask ‘How do you feed a city?’

As well as tracing how cities were formed and shaped around the food that was transported into them, Carolyn will discuss the entire food cycle from production to disposal. Issues such as the rise of the supermarket and the destruction of the natural world will be addressed and ways forward for the future will be outlined.

The lecture will be held as part of the School of City and Regional Planning’s Innovation and Engagement programme and chaired by Professor Kevin Morgan.

Speaking about the event, Professor Morgan said: "Carolyn Steel’s research has helped us to understand the enormous significance of food in our everyday lives, and especially how the food system can foster or frustrate the creation of sustainable cities."

Carolyn Steel’s work has focused on the everyday lives of cities, particularly in relation to food. She has run successful design units at the London School of Economics, London Metropolitan University and at Cambridge University, where her lecture series Food and the City is an established part of the architectural degree.

Carolyn was featured in a special edition of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme and was recently profiled by theEcologist as a ‘21st Century Visionary’.

The lecture takes place on Tuesday 13 April at 5.30pm in the Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University. The event is free and open to members of the public – places can be booked by contacting Evelyn Osborne via email at


Notes to editors:

1. Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning

Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning is the largest and most active planning school in the UK and has an outstanding record of academic achievement. Its teaching has been rated as ‘excellent’ and the latest government assessment of research in British universities has reinforced its status as the premier academic School of its type in Britain.

The School plays a leading international role in its fields of expertise and its research has an agenda-setting influence in key debates on the development, management and sustainability of cities and regions.

The School’s research is structured around five large research groups and is leading developments in environment; housing; spatial analysis; spatial planning and city environments; and urban and regional governance.

2. For more information

Victoria Dando

Public Relations office

Cardiff University

Tel: 02920 879074