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Special Issue "City Region Foodscapes"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Han Wiskerke

1. Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
2. Foodscapes Research Group, Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam School of Arts, Waterlooplein 213, 1011 PG Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Website1 | Website2 | E-Mail
Phone: +31 317 482679
Fax: +31 317 485475
Interests: rural development; agri-food studies; alternative food networks; urban food provisioning; food planning; city-region food systems; foodscape studies and design; urban-rural linkages

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is increasing broad recognition that food is an integral part of the urban agenda. Cities in different parts of the world are developing policy and programme initiatives related to urban food provisioning. The 2007-2008 food price hikes, and climate-induced disruptions to food supply, have triggered a call for more resilient urban food systems. In addition, alarming increases in diet-related ill-health require cities to ensure access to sufficient, affordable, healthy and safe food to their population. As most eaters live in cities, it is becoming evident that municipal and local authorities have a responsibility in building more sustainable food systems that reduce food wastes, provide decent livelihood opportunities for those producing, processing and selling food (be it in rural, peri-urban, or urban areas), and promote environmental sustainable forms of food provisioning. Given the social, economic, and environmental importance of systems of urban food provisioning, these systems are being considered key to operationalising the integration of rural-urban linkages, planning, and climate change adaptation at a territorial level. In this context the notion of the city region, encompassing one or more urban centres and their surrounding peri-urban and rural hinterlands, becomes the relevant level of scale to develop and implement an integrated and comprehensive solution for a future-proof foodscape. Development of resilient city region foodscapes requires political will and use of available policy and planning instruments, such as land use planning, design and development of infrastructure, and public food procurement. It also requires that city regions assess their own specific food dependencies and vulnerabilities, explore the opportunities to develop a variety of strategies by which to improve their food system, and identify roles to be played by different food system stakeholders.

For this Special Issue we welcome theoretical and empirical papers that explore the constituent parts of city region foodscapes and the complex set of socio-spatial relationships between eaters, food producers, and intermediaries, such as transporters, processors, and retailers. Both in-depth single case studies, as well as comparative analyses of city regions and their modes of food provisioning, are possible. We also appreciate papers that address the structural dimensions of the interrelationships between different foodscape actors by identifying factors that enable or hinder the supply and procurement of food. Finally we also look forward to receive papers about (building blocks for) new policy frameworks for resilient city region foodscapes.

Prof. Dr. Han Wiskerke
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • city region
  • food system
  • foodscape
  • urban food strategy
  • urban- and peri-urban agriculture; urban-rural linkages
  • spatial design and planning
  • resilience

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Alternative Approaches to Food: Community Supported Agriculture in Urban China
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 844; doi:10.3390/su9050844
Received: 16 February 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
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Abstract
One of the most remarkable features of China’s development path is its large-scale and fast-paced urbanization. As cities already accommodate more than half of China’s population, new challenges to urban food systems have emerged concurrently. Concerns over environmental degradation and food safety have
[...] Read more.
One of the most remarkable features of China’s development path is its large-scale and fast-paced urbanization. As cities already accommodate more than half of China’s population, new challenges to urban food systems have emerged concurrently. Concerns over environmental degradation and food safety have provoked growing dissatisfaction with China’s food regime. Amidst these concerns, the aim of this paper is to study the role of new and alternative approaches to food, focusing in on the question of how community supported agriculture (CSA) can deal with the food-related issues emerging from China’s development. The paper adopts Granovetter’s notions of social embeddedness to describe CSA’s relational role in consumer-farmer dynamics, as well as the structural role within its broader relational context. Empirical data is drawn from surveys distributed among CSA farms, and interviews with key stakeholders in the Chinese CSA movement. The study finds that the model of CSA demonstrates an innovative approach to deal with food safety issues, address sustainability, and operate in an environment where future food demands are most critical. Although the movement’s structural embeddedness is bound by several limitations and contradictions, it is argued that the CSA model offers important insights and adds value into ameliorating China’s food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Food Production and Consumption: City Regions between Localism, Agricultural Land Displacement, and Economic Competitiveness
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 96; doi:10.3390/su9010096
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
In the wider debate on urban resilience and metabolism, food-related aspects have gained increasing importance. At the same time, urban agro-food systems in city regions are facing major challenges with regard to often limited domestic supplies, resource-intensive producer–consumer relationships, and the competition for
[...] Read more.
In the wider debate on urban resilience and metabolism, food-related aspects have gained increasing importance. At the same time, urban agro-food systems in city regions are facing major challenges with regard to often limited domestic supplies, resource-intensive producer–consumer relationships, and the competition for low-price products via global food chains. In this sense, novel methods for coupling local and global processes are required to better understand the underlying mechanisms between the above factors. Exploring the relationship between food supply and demand, this study presents a set of suitable fact-finding tools that are introduced and applied in a comparative study of five European city regions. The methodological framework, by introducing and combining economic-based indexes, aims at overcoming limits and gaps identified by means of a literature review. The model will explicitly address the main features of the regional agro-food systems by managing information on the capacities and opportunities of local agriculture to adequately respond to food demand, as well as by providing insights on the interconnections among localism, global competitiveness of agricultural sectors, and land use change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Foodsheds and City Region Food Systems in Two West African Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1175; doi:10.3390/su8121175
Received: 17 August 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
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Abstract
In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there
[...] Read more.
In response to changing urban food systems, short supply chains have been advocated to meet urban food needs while building more sustainable urban food systems. Despite an increasing interest in urban food supply and the flows of food from production to consumption, there is a lack of empirical studies and methodologies which systematically analyse the actual proportion and nutritional significance of local and regional food supplied to urban markets. The aim of this empirical study therefore was to compare the geographical sources supplying food to the urban population (“foodsheds”) in Tamale, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to record the supplied quantities and to assess the level of interaction between the sources and the respective city. The study was conducted over two years, covering the seasons of abundant and short supply, via traffic surveys on the access roads to the two cities, and in the Tamale markets, resulting altogether in more than 40,000 records of food flow. Results indicated that food sources were highly crop- and season-specific, ranging from one-dimensional to multi-dimensional foodsheds with diverse sources across seasons. Across the commodity-specific foodsheds, city region boundaries were established. Within the proposed city region a relatively large proportion of smallholders contributed to urban food supply, taking advantage of the proximity to urban markets. While food provided from within the city region offers certain place-based benefits, like the provision of fresh perishable crops, a larger geographical diversity of foodsheds appeared to enhance the resilience of urban food systems, such as against climate related production failures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Potentials and Limitations of Regional Organic Food Supply: A Qualitative Analysis of Two Food Chain Types in the Berlin Metropolitan Region
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1125; doi:10.3390/su8111125
Received: 9 August 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regional food systems and organic agriculture are both considered more sustainable than the conventional, globalized food system they provide an alternative to. The emergence and expansion of alternative forms of food supply are influenced by various factors on different scales. Using the food
[...] Read more.
Regional food systems and organic agriculture are both considered more sustainable than the conventional, globalized food system they provide an alternative to. The emergence and expansion of alternative forms of food supply are influenced by various factors on different scales. Using the food systems approach we aim to study potentials and limitations of regional organic food supply in the Berlin metropolitan region (BMR). Based on the literature, we developed an analytical framework and identified determinants of regional organic food provision along the three major levels of the supply chain: agricultural production, food chain organization, and consumption. Then, we examined a qualitative case study with two different types of alternative food networks (A) organic community supported agriculture (CSA) and (B) organic retail trade. Factors that hinder or promote the provision of regional organic food were identified through qualitative interviews and assessed by regional stakeholders in a workshop. Our findings show that demand for regional organic food is higher than regional supply, which could offer good possibilities for organic farmers. However, actors in these two food chains need to overcome some obstacles, including limited access to land, increasing renting prices, insufficient processing capacities, and unsupportive political environment for organic farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Gardeners’ Motivations in a Metropolitan City: The Case of Milan
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1099; doi:10.3390/su8111099
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 22 October 2016 / Published: 27 October 2016
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Abstract
Urban gardening (UG) as a component of urban agriculture (UA) has reached popularity during the last decades. This growing interest depends on several factors including the different functions that have been attributed to UG over the years, operating from the economic to the
[...] Read more.
Urban gardening (UG) as a component of urban agriculture (UA) has reached popularity during the last decades. This growing interest depends on several factors including the different functions that have been attributed to UG over the years, operating from the economic to the social, health and cultural levels. While multifunctionality of UG is well documented, only a few studies investigated individual gardeners’ motivations, which can be subjective and heavily affected by the local context in which it takes place. The paper aims to detect some peculiar features of Milan city gardeners, in order to highlight the motivations of their activity through an innovative and replicable approach based on multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA). The analysis has been applied to the Milan case study, in the North of Italy; the results suggest a great importance of the social component of UG, and trace some different gardeners’ profiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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