Speaker: Thaisa Way, PhD; Professor, Landscape Architecture, UW; Director, Urban@UW
Lecture Summary: This lecture will explore how food systems are embedded in urban landscapes and the challenges that this reveals. We will think about food access as well as food sources. Human health in cities is intricately woven with food and nutrition as well as to other health determinants. How does urban design impact these systems and how might we reform the designs to better serve communities? And finally, who needs to be at the table to make these changes?
About the Winter Seminar Series: Food equity, defined as access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods, is increasingly being viewed as a basic human right. While access to healthy foods can be compromised by war and conflict, geography and climate change, it can also be affected by inequities in socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, education, and income and for groups that are low income, elderly, or chronically ill. Diet quality, weight status, and even life expectancy are determined by where people live because their food environment defines how—and where—they get their food. Locally within Seattle and King County, sharp disparities in diet quality and health have been observed. The rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the role of the environment, as well as health equity and social justice, are themes that the UW Population Health Initiative are addressing and each is connected to foods and nutrition. The Winter 2017 Seminar will address all of these issues directly, drawing on population health experts from within and outside the UW. The seminar is open to all UW faculty, staff, and students.