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Citation Information

Type Book Section - Urban-scale food system governance
Title Untamed Urbanisms
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 76
URL http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/linoesilva/files/9781315746692.pdf?m=1440453041#page=95
Abstract
Food had a symbiotic relationship with cities for centuries. Food shaped cities.
Food influenced the location, design, economies and politics of cities. For many
cities their ability to ensure food availability determined their stature.1
Recently,
however, the relationship between food and the city has become increasingly
opaque. Colonialism, industrialization and globalization have resulted in changes
in food system functions. All of these changes have distanced cities from food
production and changed the relationship between the city and food.
Defined in terms of the distribution of dietary energy supply, 868 million
people around the world were considered chronically undernourished in 2013
(FAO 2013: ix). Crush and Frayne (2010) correctly argue that food insecurity
is misleadingly regarded as an issue that only affects rural populations. African
cities are expanding rapidly and are key centres of growth and development
(UN-DESA 2012). For many urban residents, this growth and development
is not translating into better livelihoods. Access to food is particularly problematic
for poor people in African cities (Crush and Frayne 2010). In South
African cities, where first apartheid and then prevailing policies have had a
direct impact, urban food insecurity is high (Battersby 2011; SANHANES-1
2013). Current food system governance and policies perhaps even perpetuate
urban food insecurity.
Urban food security and related consequences raise questions about the role of
cities in the food system, and the processes that enable active city resident participation
in the urban food system. It was these questions that precipitated my own
enquiry into the nascent urban food system governance approaches and actions
that I observed, both in my engagement with policy-makers and in practice.
The urban food system challenge forms part of a wider set of converging,
mutually reinforcing transitions (Swilling and Annecke 2012). Four interconnected
global, yet locally experienced, transitions are considered in this chapter.
These include the second urban transition, the food system transition and the
nutrition transition. Fourth, driven by the preceding transitions, is the emergence
of alternative urban food governance innovations. These governance strategies
are diverse. A collection of these emerging alternative food governance innovations
are investigated, and provide a framework against which the South African
urban food governance interventions are compared.

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