Rachel Hill (Landscape Design) on food urbanism

Landscape designer Rachel Hill will speak in an upcoming edition of CPID Talks on Friday, March 4, about Food Urbanism. Throughout different cultures, ecosystems, and history there is one constant. All people must eat. But prior to food getting into our mouths, the process of planning, growing, processing and marketing, food systems are as unique as the land and people that make them. And the towns and cities, which often are shaped by this universal need, are equally as complex and distinctive. This talk will be a design exploration of 3-4 places in which she’s worked on “food urbanism” projects (Yuma, Arizona – Vis, Croatia – Rougemont, Switzerland – the Bronx, NYC), and efforts of planning and designing to (re)integrate food systems back into the places where people live.

Rachel got her MLA in Landscape Architecture and completed her Master's thesis in Yuma, Arizona, a wide, fertile plain of the Colorado River that was important to the Native Americans, and now the "lettuce capital of the world." From an arid borderland town with mega-agriculture, she traveled to a small Mediterranean island with an ancient and continuous viticultural tradition to work on a Fulbright Fellowship. This segued to a position with an architecture firm with a national science grant in a well-organized country where agriculture is as much tradition and tourism as it is calories. 

Coming full circle in many ways, she came back to the US and ended up working on a "food distribution center" in a dirty and dynamic gentrifying borough of New York City. Rachel's interests have always been rooted in how food systems can be responsive and flexible generators in design as well as essential components and tools when addressing social and environmental issues. She will present on that exploration - and where it could go as our cities re-find food systems as integral spaces.