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Sustainable Places Podcast

Bringing you conversations about our latest research and current issues.

Episode 1: Covid-19 and the Food System

Host: Alice Taherzadeh (PLACE)

Guests: Dr. Hannah Pitt (PLACE), Dr. Angelina Sanderson-Bellamy (PLACE) and Dr. Poppy Nicol (PLACE)

Empty supermarket shelves, closed restaurants, increased demand for local veg boxes, farm labour shortages and food packages for vulnerable groups - food is clearly a key issue to consider in the current pandemic.

  • How do we produce enough healthy food for the population during a time of global pandemic?
  • Where are the vulnerabilities in the current system and how could it transform to be more resilient?
  • What impact is the crisis having on those who feed the food system?
  • How might emergency responses evolve into longer term changes?

We consider these questions in the first of a series of podcasts on the current pandemic and its impact on different areas of research.

PLACE Podcast Episode 2: Covid 19 and Economic Resilience

Host: Alice Taherzadeh (PLACE)
Guests: Prof. Gillian Bristow (GEOPL), Dr. Adrian Healy (GEOPL)

The global pandemic has quickly turned from being a public health crisis to an economic one, with an unprecedented, forced shutdown of almost every aspect of economic life threatening to present a considerable challenge to economies the world over.

The lockdown of the UK has resulted in furloughed staff, redundant workers, companies facing bankruptcy and a fall in economic activity the like of which has seldom been seen. Not all sectors are equally affected, and some might recover faster than others, so how might our economy change in the future? Crucially, how will the government choose to exit the lockdown? The decisions taken over the coming months will shape our economy for years to come. This podcast explores some of the lessons from research undertaken following the global economic crisis of 2008 to establish what makes some economies more resilient and able to cope with shocks than others. This provides interesting insights into the importance of understanding how everyone involved in the economy responds to the crisis now and into the future.

PLACE Podcast Episode 3: Planning for a Post-Covid Food System

Host: Alice Taherzadeh (PLACE)
Guest: Professor Terry Marsden (PLACE)

Planning failures and financial cuts are being exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the world of food, too, planning is needed both to deal with short-term emergencies and to address longer-term risks. The crisis has laid bare existing inequities and vulnerabilities in the food system pushing many more into food insecurity and food poverty. Immediate panic-driven responses within the food system have led to waste in some parts of the food system and shortages in others. And whilst there has been a celebrated growth in local and sustainable food supply such as organic veg boxes, there has also been a massive consolidation of purchasing within a small number of retailers and a huge growth in profits for them. As health inequalities are tied up with food inequalities, it is important to consider not just the question of how to feed people but how to enable just access to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food. 

What is needed to ensure that a more sustainable and just system is born out of the pandemic? Should we be introducing food rationing in the UK? And how can we prepare the food system for inevitable future health or ecological crises? I talk to Professor Terry Marsden about the outlook for the future of the UK food system and global food politics.