Wahlfach Herbstsemester 2017

Urban Food: Munich

Elective Urban Food, Autumn 2017: beer tables at the «Oktoberfest», tent Schottenhamel (detail) «Oktoberfest Cathedrals», Michael von Hassel, 2015.

Food is understood as an indicator for the entire cultural region of Munich at Urban Food. In this territory one can identify several transformations. A current preference for organic food has, for example, led to Bavaria becoming one of Europe’s largest producers of organic vegetables in recent years. At the same time, there new models of distribution of this food are being developed online, linking producers directly with their customers.

Bavarian ski slopes are, on the other hand, suffering greatly from the consequences of climate change: could one imagine a new form of food tourism in Bavaria as an alternative? In Bavaria twice as much meat is consumed on average as is recommended by the EU. The onset of the trend towards vegetarianism begs the question whether livestock agriculture will have the necessary space to support itself in the future.

In this year’s elective course, which takes the form of a single intensive week in Munich and Zurich, we shall be making a portrait of Munich in the form of an analytical group exercise that will be translated into a ‘Visual Reader.’ It is then possible to take an additional intensive week and investigate the topic further with a partly written piece of work. Both weeks are accompanied by modules in GIS and film.



Assistant: Roland Shaw (shaw@arch.ethz.ch)

Wahlfach (052-0719-17 G- 2 KP)  Wahlfacharbeit (6 KP)

The intensive week for the Wahlfach, including travel to Munich, is from 29.01.18 until 06.02.18.

The intensive week for the Wahlfacharbeit is from 09.02.18 until 16.02.18.

There is a contribution fee of 280 CHF.


The Alps as Common Ground

The expansion of the Alps’ developmental structure leads to their increased integration into the urban networks of the surrounding metropolises. This enables both the exploitation of the Alps as a metropolitan park landscape and as an attractive settlement area, which leads to an increased formation of spatial contrasts already evident today: the intensified use of the easy to reach Alpine areas increasingly contradicts the more extensive use up to the abandonment of the remaining Alpine areas. If this trend continues, it will lead in extreme cases to the loss of the Alps as an autonomous cultural, living and economic area; furthermore, the Alpine peripheral regions will become merely additional areas of the extra-Alpine metropolises.

When considering the Alps as common ground of the surrounding metropolitan areas, an alternative interpretation results and a new potential opens up regarding the Alps’ future development. Assuming that settlements and an accompanying urban concentration will increase along the edge of the Alps, they would no longer only be partially assigned metropolitan park landscapes, but central to the region. Regarding the Alps as common ground and a resource claimed by various users, their future could lie in a collectively renegotiated, sustainable user relationship. This relationship combines and overlaps traditional, agricultural (endogenous) usages with extra-Alpine, urban (exogenous as well as ubiquitous) ones, thus ultimately allowing a responsible use of resources of the Alpine landscape. (Werner Bätzing, «Die Alpen. Geschichte und Zukunft einer europäischen Kulturlandschaft», Munich: Publisher C.H. Beck, 2005, P. 335.) This could result in a common central landscape of the surrounding metropolitan areas – not based on traditional images and ideas, but creating new images and meanings – and above all developing strategies on how to deal with areas with little potential.

The alpine range 2015: urbanisation (white), protected areas (red), common ground (yellow).
The alpine range 2100: urbanisation (white), protected areas (red), common ground (yellow).

Urban Food

The production, processing and distribution of food, as well as its consumption and disposal, have for a long time defined the relationship between city and countryside, and in turn the territory. Conversely, gastronomy and patterns of consumption are heavily influenced by processes of urbanisation. It is here that one can see the influence of the city on the food system and vice versa.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti: The Allegory of the Good and Bad Government, 1348