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Urban systems of survival: Building a resilient capacity of food and housing in the city

Mitchell, Robert and Bowes, Jeremy (2016) Urban systems of survival: Building a resilient capacity of food and housing in the city. In: Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium (RSD), 13-15 Oct 2016, Toronto, Canada.


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As people migrate to cities in increasing numbers, infrastructure, resources and resilience becomes
taxed and fragile. An urban challenge is to create a more sustainable and resilient city that can
provide affordable food and housing for it’s inhabitants. This paper identifies key related issues,
and explores a number of systemic approaches to integrating food and housing to build capacity and
create a more resilient city ecology. Considered, as a systemic problem, Toronto being a large multicultural
centre is a good case study with a serious need for affordable access to nutritious, culturally
appropriate food, and housing to serve families, the working poor, and new Canadians, many of
which are looking for rental accommodations. Consideration of mixed-use space that includes low,
medium and high-density residential space, and possible options of urban food production
highlights opportunities. The need for a local self sufficient food system, is paired with the
competing need of an affordable place to live, to consider merged alternatives of growing local food
within the emerging new contexts of affordable urban communities. Summary points are outlined as
a series of next step recommendations to suggest a way forward to the built environment of the
alternative city of the future, which must be self-sufficient, and build the capacity to generate its
own resources in terms of energy and food from within the city itself.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Affordable, Food Production, Housing, Resilience, Infrastructure, Urban Communities
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 15:50
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 18:03
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1951

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