Author: Carolina Henriques
On Friday, September 27, DINÂMIA’CET-IUL and the project SPLACH (Spatial Planning for Change) collaborated to present to visitors of this year’s European Researchers’ Night a taste of what thinking about planning for food might mean when considering potential future needs and challenges of our city of Lisbon.
The center’s participation in the 2019 edition was entitled “Food (U)topias of Lisbon” – or (U)topias alimentares de Lisboa – and harnessed a range of activities and visual information for visitors to engage with. Bypassers were invited to think about the different phases of the food system and about the territory of the city of Lisbon with cork models, maps and historical images with a fun surprise at the end – a taste of fruits, delicacies and beer that were either produced, transformed or distributed in Lisbon.
People were asked questions such as “how do you think the food production of the future will be?”, “how do you think the eating habits of Lisbon’s inhabitants will change in the next 50 years?” or “how do you think food supply should be secured in case of an oil crisis?”.
Regarding the first question, people referred to technology advances, alternatives to plastic, alternatives to animal protein and chemical-free agriculture. When answering the second question, in a hopeful and positive tone, people mentioned an increase in healthier habits, more conscious consumption decisions and an increase in national and local products supply. Interestingly, few people mentioned trains as an option to transport food into the city in case of an oil crisis and the most common answers were referencing bicycles, electric vehicles and on foot transportation, regarding the last question.
The remaining questions and corresponding answers were also informative of visitors’ perceptions about the food system in Lisbon. Overall, the outcome of this experimental initiative was exciting, with the design of the activities serving as a model for further development that could be replicated within other communities, such as DINAMIA’CET itself.
The event took place at the Nacional Museum of Natural History and Science and was organized by D’C staff-members Bruno Vasconcelos and Maria José Rodrigues and facilitated by doctoral students Carolina Neto Henriques, Irina Gomes e Mariana Salvador. Besides the project SPLACH, this year’s activities wouldn’t have been
possible without the participation of Vitruvius FabLab ISCTE-IUL and the generous donations of the association Pão-a-pão/Mezze, the cooperative Fruta Feia and the beer MUSA.
This year was the fourth participation of DINAMIA’CET in this European effort, having previous editions included collaborations with research projects like CREATOUR and always involving other researchers of the unit. In other years’ editions the topics were also centered around the city, its historical perspective, urban art and culture and the evolution of neighborhoods in Lisbon.
The European Researchers’ Night is an initiative launched in 2006, funded by the European Commission through Marie Curie Actions with the purpose of celebrating Science and bring closer researchers and citizens. Every year, this party is celebrated in several European cities on the last Friday of the month of September.
More information about European Researchers’ Night on:
More information about the project SPLACH (coord. Teresa Marat-Mendes) on: