Have you ever enjoyed a meal together with friends and strangers alike?
Can you imagine a square hosting a big table that neighbours share for dinner in summer nights?
Is it possible to raise awareness and fight food waste by launching a public banquet prepared out of leftovers?
In recent years numerous initiatives worldwide have arisen using food to challenge the way people engage in urban public spaces. Combining various backgrounds such as art, architecture, activism or anthropology, this interventions have been put into practice without any commercial purpose but holding multiple intentions that range from enjoyment and celebration to education or political protest.
City Cook Book is a collection of initiatives enhancing public spaces by bringing people together through food culture. It aims to explore how food can be an effective tool to both transform our common spaces into sites for encounter and social interaction, as well as to engage with larger issues that shape our everyday urban life. Through its digital platform and its print-it-yourself publication, City Cook Book intents to visualize this phenomena, reflect upon it and inspire other initiatives.
City Cook Book is a non-profit initiative developed by Claudia Sánchez and Íñigo Cornago.
Proyecto financiado por Ayudas Creación Injuve
Project funded by Ayudas Creación Injuve
If you prefer to print any content as single PDFs, you can just click
The project is set in Terni, Italy, in a public space in between social housing built for workers of the local iron industries during the XX century. Although the story on this dwellings inhabitation is very interesting (check 1st video), nowadays there are two communities opposed due to cultural reasons: Italian families and migrants settled time back.
The public spaces amidst the housing blocks expresses the current conflicts, being a completely abandoned place where nobody dares to do anything fearing to create more conflicts. The result are zones occupied by vehicles alien to the community, degraded areas and underused spaces.
We propose to use cooking as an excuse to close up both communities and visualise it in public space. An urban kitchen that reinforce the use of domestic activities in public space is always welcome in Mediterranean context. We compile recipes on various ways of preparing traditional sauces for Italian pasta as even in them it is possible to observe slight variations due to the cultural mix of the population.
Through this constellation of recipes, we designed a space for open air cooking as a site to share this knowledge.
The temporary project developed as a sample was very successful as both communities really contributed to the space sharing a gathering evening on the motto “Help me cook!”.
[SIC] is a professional architecture office focused on architecture, city and territory progress from a multidisciplinary, proactive and committed structure. Its activity is focused on the investigation and development of matters related to the dynamic processes of architecture and the landscape, including multilateral collaboration between different disciplines.
[VIC] Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas is an open-source platform, a collaborative project orientated to promote, spread, analyze and support initiatives and critic processes in a proactive way throughout all the civic society layers, with special incidence in the transferences to the territory, the city and the public space.