"You Are Where You Eat": reconnecting Birmingham, AL residents to their landscape through a local food network
Type of Degreethesis
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In an age of increasing globalization and expanding food distribution networks the distance between food sources and consumers is growing at an alarming rate. With this growing gap comes the increased separation of ties between citizens and the land on which they live. Several Birmingham, AL groups and residents have recently begun efforts to re-emphasize the importance of food that comes from where it will be eaten. The existing food network of Birmingham has the beginnings of a potentially successful venture, but without a comprehensive and cohesive food network the system will be piecemeal and ineffective. The food infrastructure of Birmingham must be seen as a system of both production and distribution of small scale, quality agriculture rather than the existing infrastructure of interstates, tractor-trailers, and mega-agricultural operations. This research investigates the kinds of productive and distributive spaces that need to be integrated in order to implement a local food system for Birmingham, AL. It does this by means of design experimentation and layered mapping. Selected urban sites will be designed to begin the phased implementation of an interconnected, cohesive food network that both changes the way citizens relate to the land on which they live and surrounds them with fresh, quality food.