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Iterative, Participatory Mapping as Food Systems Pedagogy: The Case of the UC Berkeley Foodscape Mapping Project

Authors: Rosalie Zdzienicka Fanshel*, University of California - Berkeley
Topics: Food Systems, Geography Education, Cartography
Keywords: food systems, critical pedagogy, higher education, equity and inclusion, mapping
Session Type: Lightning Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley Foodscape Mapping Project aims to
bridge the gaps between the University of California, Berkeley campus food system and the communities it serves. Our “foodscape map” offers extensive, research-based data on the structural factors affecting diversity, equity, and inclusion across campus activities and units, including education, gardens, facilities, eateries, student groups, student services, and fraternities/sororities. Developed through community dialogue and student-led research projects, the map reveals barriers to the full participation of historically marginalized campus members in food-related learning and practice. The Foodscape Mapping Project serves as a model of participatory food systems pedagogy and action: so far over 150 student researchers have worked on the project, and 1,000 other members of the campus community have contributed data. The map also offers comprehensive policy recommendations and the project team is currently working with campus decision-makers to enact change based on research findings. In this paper, I will share the pedagogical approaches and iterative process by which the Foodscape Mapping Project team has centered student voices and responded to student learning interests to shape each phase of the project. I also offer insights on how a similar project might be undertaken at other universities.

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