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
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With a population of one million and a land area of 178 km2, Rosario has large urban parks and 12.5 m2 green area per inhabitant. It is a city with vibrant culture, and a place full of contrasts. As is the case with other Latin American cities, crime is one of citizens’ greatest concerns, and fear has driven people out of common areas.
With the premise that a populated public place is seen as safer than an empty one, the local government accepted the challenge of inviting citizens to enjoy and make use of these places at nighttime. It was the start of a new quality collective experience: night picnics.
Night picnics are advertised through social media, and invite people to come together, enjoy and share a meal in a public place, while they can try the cultural offer and enjoy a healthy meal.
The picnics are held in landmark green areas. They are different to one another regarding design, the lands they were built on, the communities that make use of them, etc.
Our intention is to increase an existing use, and to encourage new kinds of uses. Picnics are a traditional kind of use, which symbolise citizen bonding through shared meals in public places, and now they take a new meaning with this motion by the local government. Over 70 thousand people already enjoyed the experience.
The use of public places improves relations between people, encourages gathering and community public life, allows for new relationships between people and the environment, and fosters social interaction between groups. The picnic also allows for an inclusive event and makes no difference of class nor age; therefore, it is an invitation to enjoy what belongs to all, in an egalitarian environment.
The Municipality of Rosario, via its Environment and Urban Space Office, launches efforts and initiatives to encourage the use of public space, on the grounds that citizens should have the central stage.
The city has an abundance of parks, squares and green areas. This shows that public space development is a priority, and one that we constantly strive for, as well as a symbol of the city.