Publication: Geography of sustainability within urban food strategies
The whirling population growth that is affecting global cities is causing an enormous challenge to conventional resource-intensive food production and supply and the urgent need to face food security and sustainability concerns. Cities can be the starting points of these strategies and they need to strike a balance between the localization of their food chains, reconnecting food with its place of provenience, and the globalization and market pushes. Urban Food Policies or Food Strategies can provide an interesting path for the development of this new agenda within the imperative principle of sustainability. But which are the main components of these policies? Most the food plans include actions related to three main dimensions that falls within the umbrella of what the food planners call “food sustainability” that are food security and equity, environmental sustainability itself and cultural identity and, at the designing phase, they differ slightly from each other according to the degree of approximation to one of these dimensions. An essential observation can be made about the relationship between these dimensions and geography. In statistical terms, the US and Canadian policies tend to devote a large research space to health issues and access to food; those northern European show a special attention to the environmental issues and the shortening of the chain; and finally the policies that, even in limited numbers, are being developed in the Mediterranean basin, are characterized by a strong territorial and cultural imprint and their major aim is to preserve local production and the contact between the productive land and the end consumer. This means that the relationships between food sustainability, public policies and the comparative study of the different cases are important in order to find solutions and ideas to future planning dispositions. Moving from these assumptions, my article, with primary and secondary data, would reflect on the current mapping of the Urban Food Policies, on the reasons why such priorities are located in those geographic areas and on the effectiveness of the practices they produce.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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