Culinary regeneration

BBC Radio 4’s ‘food programme’ this week explored attempts to regenerate New Orleans following hurricane Katrina, using food and food culture as the catalyst for development.  Cultural regeneration strategies can draw on a range of cultural resources to galvanise a community or drive economic development, but this is one of the rare examples of food culture/cuisine being used as a driver in this sense.  More common (in the UK) are schemes like the redevelopment of Borough Market in London, where food culture provided a way to re-animate public space and was the hook for significant physical regeneration of the built heritage of the area.  What is happening in New Orleans around food comes closer to the ideal of working with the meanings of the city and the local knowledge of its residents in order to energise regeneration – building on the distinctive food culture of New Orleans by supporting farmers, markets and restaurants is both practical andinspirational for residents and tourists alike – the hallmark of a successful cultural regeneration scheme.

New Orleans food heritage

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