More Food, Less Waste

July 9, 2018 in Community, Food

Across the world, a surprising amount of food doesn’t get eaten. Roughly one third of food is lost or wasted every year world-wide.  In Canada, approximately 40 percent of the food produced in the country is lost or wasted. The cost of this waste is estimated to be 31 billion dollars every year.

And while so much food is going to waste, many people are experiencing food insecurity.

One in 8 Canadian households are food insecure, amounting to over 4 million Canadians, including over 1 million children. Lacking access to good food has variety of negative physical, mental and social health impacts.In recent years, the idea of food deserts has entered the discussion about food and cities. Food deserts are areas where there is little to no access to affordable, nutritious food. Often in these areas, the only local food options are fast food chains or corner stores.

We wanted to talk to someone who is helping to relieve some of the food waste and food security problems that our cities face.

Today’s guest, Lourdes Juan, is the founder of the Leftovers Foundation where she’s helping provide good food to those in need.


Young Urbanists

June 21, 2018 in Uncategorised

City-building activities don’t often include the voices of the kids, which means we’re all missing out. Not only do they provide refreshingly imaginative ideas, but building cities that are kid-friendly is good for everyone.

As Enrique Penalosa, the mayor of Bogota, Columbia, says, “Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will still have a successful city for people.”

For today’s episode, you’ll hear from a group of kids in grade 1 and 2. John recently presented to a local school about urban planning and asked the kids to design their own cities. The results were pretty awesome, so we thought you needed to hear what they had to say. Some ideas included building more walkable neighbourhoods, providing diverse housing options for people, creating accessible schools, and… embedding trampolines into sidewalks. Did we mention that they were all under the age of 9?

According to experts on childhood brain development from the University of Minnesota, children spend up to two thirds of their time in imaginative play. This time spent pretending helps kids come up with alternative ways of thinking, which results in increased creativity and better problem solving.

So maybe, we should ask kids for their ideas more often to tap into their creativity for how to build better cities.

Anthropology & Equity

June 18, 2018 in Politics

Today’s guest is Katrina Johnston Zimmerman, an advocate for equitable and women led cities. Through her observational methods as an urban anthropologist, Katrina is working to make cities more inclusive for everybody.

In this episode, Katrina and John talk about:

  • How Katrina understands cities through the lens of an urban anthropologist
  • Some shifts that have occurred in cities over time
  • The importance of advocating for women led cities
  • How cities can become more equitable