Конкурс поднимает проблему растущей зависимости современного человека от глобальных сетей производства продуктов. Опасность в том, что со временем знания и навыки выращивания продовольственных культур будут утрачены, вместе с этим могут полностью исчезнуть и собственно натуральные качественные продукты. Задача конкурсантов – придумать, как создать в городах инфраструктуру, которая привлекла бы большое количество жителей к ведению сельского хозяйства.
Food is one of the most fundamental elements of human existence. Humans have thrived and survived because our ancestors learnt how to gather, produce and consume food. Ours has sustenance has been ensured due to these crucial elements of knowledge passed through generations.
As industrialization percolated in civilization, mass production began. Then there was an influx of consumers - who were capable of paying for the food, instead of producing it. The need to grow food depleted, and as a result, skills and crafts related to agriculture and food production are gradually becoming mostly obsolete in the urbane environment. Mass consumerism through supermarkets is slowly changing how we perceive, acquire and consume food.
The paradigm shift in food production and consumption interspersed with the rising population of our cities creates a bigger problem. We are now wholly reliant on global networks of production and distribution. As individuals, not only we are losing access to crucial, knowledge pertaining to self-sustenance but also losing the diverse species rapidly. This cyclic process of decreasing plant diversity in tandem with worsening climate makes things even gloomy for our urban lifestyle in the coming future.
The Industrial Revolution has provided us with a highly consistent supply of processed food. In a way, it has given birth to issues like overconsumption, poor quality, high wastage and an over-dependence on manufacturing agencies. On the flip side, we cannot escape mechanization, which successfully meets the soaring demands of consumers. Artificially increasing the speed of production and boosting longevity by adding preservatives is a hidden yet common practice. In the longer run, our perception of fresh food will be completely eroded.
By this model, only economically viable species will flourish, everything else will wither. This rampant commoditization is a slow time bomb that will deteriorate our environment.
How can we inspire a positive change in cities we live in where people can learn about these vanishing species and grow/maintain on their own? How can we change the downside of cities, i.e. overcrowding and increasing susceptibility to collapse, to more self-sufficient and more resilient places of living?
How can we create cities as micro seed economies where not only urban farming happens, but everyone contributes to the food chain by small endeavours and smarter techniques of farming?