Out of the mountains and into the sprawling cities of the littoral — that’s where conflict is headed. Actually, it’s already there, as recent events show. Now, here’s the book that makes sense of the changes we see happening and it’s a book for all of us who would understand this strange new world we inhabit…
I STARTED ADDRESSING ISSUES of food security and food sovereignty and how these ideas relate to the future of our cities at conferences and seminars and in community education courses some years ago. A key message I delivered was that the mainstream economy’s food supply chain could be improved to make it more effective and fairer, and that food was an emerging issue and that evidence for this were the ways that communities were intervening in their own food supply by setting their own production and distribution chains.
FOOD SHAPES CITIES. It was once found in the marketplaces in the middle of our towns and cities. Here, people gathered to buy and sell food, to gossip and exchange news. The market was shop, news bureau and social exchange… the vital heart of the city, the focus that tied the city to its productive hinterland ever so closely through its culinary and economic links. The market was the point of interaction between farmer and eater.
IT WAS ON A SUNNY SATURDAY MORNING a little over a year ago that City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, opened the James Street Reserve Community Garden in what had been a poorly used pocket park in Redfern.
IT’S ONE OF THOSE streetscapes dominated by the presence of the past. I’m speaking architecturally, about the late nineteenth and early twentieth century once-were-working-class houses and occasional commercial buildings. It is in this way, through the built environment, that the past remains the present in this part of Redfern near where, across Cleveland Street, the urban continuity becomes Surry Hills.
A GOOD EVENT it turned out to be, National Tree Day 2010, with fine, sunny and warm Winter weather bringing out hundreds who planted 4000 ground covers, shrubs and trees. Activities for kids, a wildlife show that included a black head python and a lizard that changed colour were brought along by the wildlife display and City of Sydney waste educator, Sarah van Erp, an Eastern Suburbs Compost Revolution veteran, and Katie Oxenham, the City’s urban ecologist, were there.