Designing a system for the efficient provision of food to a city would have to be thought about in term of complex systems. The current system in our society is one of fast food, where there is always a surplus of food that you can get your hands on no matter what time of day. When designing a complex system for food distribution in a city it in important to keep all the aspects of a complex system in mind. They include feedback loops, where change in a variable results in either an amplification (positive feedback) or a dampening (negative feedback) of that change. Also they have strongly independent variables (multiple inputs contributing to observed outputs). Another characteristic is multiple (meta) stable states: where small change in conditional may precipitate a major change in the system. And finally, this type of system has non-Gaussian distribution of outputs, often where the outcomes that are far away from the average are more likely than you might think. In terms of food the factors I would focus on is production and distribution. Regardless of these two factors the fast food system is reliant on growth. The fast food paradigm asks for unparalleled food production wince the consumer wants infinite options at all prices and at all times of the day. This continuous high demand for production causes a negative feedback loop since the choices that don’t get chosen by the consumer, end up being thrown away. When designing a system for a city I would make sure that the production results in an amplification of that change. A way to do this is by eating locally and organic. This preserves the local food economy and instead of putting money into corporation that overproduce cheap food, you put money into local businesses that take care of the local seeds and animals, and produce the right amount to provide for the consumer but also care about waste, since their business directly depends on no money going to waste. Managing this system would mean abolishing all fast food enterprises such as McDonalds and Burger King who don’t consider the waste they produce. This could be done by implementing taxes on waste or considering stronger regulations and rules that curb over production. Managing this system would mean some sort of test or data that each company would have to pass or submit on some sort of regular interval. This system would prove successful if the data shows that the production is producing minimal waste, which could be calculated from data collected.

The other model is a clockwork system, which is a predictable system where the parts are guided to grow and work together in a specific way. This system would be harder to implement since there is no fully predictable outcome of a system like food production and distribution, and you can only rely on historical evidence and past trends. However, the same idea of implementing taxes or incentives to ensure more or less of a waste free system could be produced with a clockwork model system. Instead of the complex system in which the two variables affect each other either inversely or directly, the variables in a clockwork system would have a specific predicted outcome. Either model would help to improve food production and distribution within a city in relation to waste management.

Food cyclereduceWasteCycle

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