Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities and has worked in that field since 1989. She writes regularly on food, architecture and urban design, has presented on BBC TV, and was a columnist for Building Design. In demand worldwide as a public speaker, recent appearances include at TEDGlobal, The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The National Building Museum (Washington DC), Princeton University (New York), Domus Academy (Milan), and the Melbourne Design Festival.
Steel is a visiting lecturer at Cambridge and Wageningen University, and has taught at Cambridge and London Metropolitan Universities and the London School of Economics for a number of years.
Her book “Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives” describes how food is key to the urban paradox at the core of civilization. By this she means that although most of us live in cities, in a deeper sense we really dwell on the land, relying as much on the natural world to feed us as our ancient ancestors did. The paradox comes from the fact that the more we cluster together for society's sake, the further removed we get from our sources of sustenance.
Her concept of “sitopia” (foodplace) is gaining widespread recognition as a tool with which to address the dilemmas of 21st century life.