What is this?

Dear reader,

This website is a journey through the tangible and the intangible urban traces - the physical and the virtual, the societal and the structural - left by food delivery services in cities.  The urban traces we are looking for are :

  • material and observable in the physical urban environment (i.e. trash)

  • social, cultural, economic and political practices that continuously give sense to places and that are now changing due to the influence of the digital (i.e. role and value given to human inter/actions)

  • intangible manifestations of the impact of food production/consumption networks in cities (i.e. change of destination or different perception of space)

  • behavioural ‘leftovers’ of food (trans)actions across real and digital actors, as algorithms and humans establish imperfect interplay (i.e. increased alienation and individuality)

Through the interactive items you will find along the way, you will therefore be able to explore the many intangible and tangible changes that are happening in cities, as platform services are ‘digesting’ urban space, leaving many – visible and invisible – traces behind.

We have chosen food as it is a topic to “cross the divide” and to research any socio-cultural, political but also material aspect of human life - and its influence over (and perception of) non-human elements.

Why research food-delivery traces in cities?

A rapid acceleration of food and grocery delivery services is happening, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing people to avoid public spaces and social life. As a result, food-delivery services are increasingly influencing both the spatial and the human landscape.  We have chosen food as a central node of analysis as it shapes relationships – with people, spaces and places. Food establishes networks, and food takes its own journey from production to consumption, to places in-between, touching every human and non-human aspect as it moves across.

We believe this is an area of research that may be currently underdeveloped but that is of crucial importance.

Read a more in depth description of this project here