Food stall with fresh local produce in Bangkok
COVLess is an exploratory research project.
We probe into various aspects of COVID-19 related societal and environmental stressors, and solution-finding processes. We do not attempt to realise a fully-fledged research programme at this time but rather try to identify entry-points for longer-term studies. Also, we attempt to assess the chances of creative solutions to open up pathways towards more sustainable, socially and environmentally sound urban lifeworlds and livelihoods. A core question to be answered is what role the COVID-19 pandemic plays as a trigger for innovative, citizen-based concepts to overcome the crisis and enhance urban food security and social connectedness.
As it turned out in the first phases of our project already, "food", i.e. the production, distribution/provisioning, and consumption of food, may serve as a vehicle to enhance social cohesion, and create new forms of social interaction suitable to foster more sustainable urban livelihoods, and citizen identities.
Singapore is highly dependent on food imports from abroad. Bangkok's hinterland produces food for the metropole and street markets play a fundamental role in supplying food to the city's residents. In both cities, residents and are other stakeholders are experiencing severe disruptions of the food networks due to the pandemic.
It is the overall objective of the project to explore and analyse the Covid-19 pandemic impacts on urban food systems and citizenship in Bangkok and Singapore, and to identify (potential) solutions and outline future development options.
Mobile food vendors in Bangkok serve an important role in the urban food supply chain
Together with research partners from Thailand and Singapore, the project team is addressing the following questions along three thematic dimensions:
A research project conducted by Prof. Dr. Fred Krüger, Prof. Dr. Axel Drescher and partners, c/o FAU, Institute of Geography, Wetterkreuz 15, 91058 Erlangen. Germany