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Agriculture 2016, 6(4), 65; doi:10.3390/agriculture6040065

Systemic Analysis of Food Supply and Distribution Systems in City-Region Systems—An Examination of FAO’s Policy Guidelines towards Sustainable Agri-Food Systems

1
DIAG—Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e Gestionale “Antonio Ruberti”—Sapienza University of Rome, Via Ariosto 25, Roma 00185, Italy
2
SYDIC—System Dynamics Italian Chapter (www.systemdynamics.it), Via Carlo Sereni 12, Rome 00146, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, Sassari 07100, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giaime Berti, Moya Kneafsey, Larry Lev, Irene Monasterolo and Sergio Schneider
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
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Abstract

The world is continuously transforming to supply growing cities and urbanization processes are still driving important changes in our current food systems. Future sustainability constraints are emphasizing that Food Supply and Distribution Systems (FSDS) are deeply embedded in city-region systems with specific technical and socio-ecological characteristics. This paper aims to provide a systemic understanding on FSDS focusing the integration of urban and rural structures considering the system biophysical boundaries and societal targets. A qualitative framework model, based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s FSDS literature, has been developed by using Systems Thinking (ST) and System Dynamics (SD) approaches. The model analysis suggested that to increase sustainability and resilience of food systems large emphasis has to be maintained on: (i) estimation of local territorial carrying capacities; (ii) land use planning to enhance connections among rural supplies and city needs; (iii) city policies, to regulate emergent market size and local scale of production; (iv) technological efficiency at farm, distribution and market levels; (v) urban, peri-urban and rural functional linkages that considers social metabolic balances; (vi) rural development as a core point for building sustainable food systems and counteracting the urbanization growth. These key areas are relevant to test new paths of cities-regions reconfiguration towards the transition to resilient agri-food systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: food supply and distribution systems; resilient food systems; resilient cities; sustainability; systems thinking; system dynamics; self-organizing systems; food systems governance; societal metabolism; city-region governance food supply and distribution systems; resilient food systems; resilient cities; sustainability; systems thinking; system dynamics; self-organizing systems; food systems governance; societal metabolism; city-region governance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Armendáriz, V.; Armenia, S.; Atzori, A.S. Systemic Analysis of Food Supply and Distribution Systems in City-Region Systems—An Examination of FAO’s Policy Guidelines towards Sustainable Agri-Food Systems. Agriculture 2016, 6, 65.

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