We talk to Carolyn Steel, author of Wainwright Prize 2020 shortlisted book Sitopia, about the inspiration behind her writing and her call to action for us all.
Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities. Her first book, Hungry City, received international acclaim, establishing her as an influential voice in a wide variety of fields across academia, industry and the arts. It won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction and was chosen as a BBC Food Programme book of the year. A London-based architect, academic and writer, Carolyn has lectured at the University of Cambridge, London Metropolitan University, Wageningen University and the London School of Economics and is in international demand as a speaker. Her 2009 TED talk has received more than one million views.
We live in a world shaped by food, a Sitopia (sitos – food; topos – place). Food, and how we search for and consume it, has defined our human journey.
From our foraging hunter-gatherer ancestors to the enormous appetites of modern cities, food has shaped our bodies and homes, our politics and trade, and our climate. Whether it’s the daily decision of what to eat, or the monopoly of industrial food production, food touches every part of our world. But by forgetting its value, we have drifted into a way of life that threatens our planet and ourselves.
Yet food remains central to addressing the predicaments and opportunities of our urban, digital age. Drawing on insights from philosophy, history, architecture, literature, politics and science, as well as stories of the farmers, designers and economists who are remaking our relationship with food, Sitopia is a provocative and exhilarating vision for change, and how to thrive on our crowded, overheating planet. In her inspiring and deeply thoughtful new book Carolyn Steel, points the way to a better future.
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