Next Article in Journal
Session-Based Recommender System for Sustainable Digital Marketing
Previous Article in Journal
Analysis of Factors Affecting Real-Time Ridesharing Vehicle Crash Severity
Article Menu
Issue 12 (June-2) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Food Systems Sustainability: An Examination of Different Viewpoints on Food System Change

African Centre for Cities, EGS Building, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7701, South Africa
School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Box 700, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Mistra Urban Futures, Chalmers University of Technology, Läraregatan 3, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
Unit for Human Geography, Department of Economy and Society, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 625, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kisumu 40100, Kisumu County, Kenya
The Urban Institute, University of Sheffield, 219 Portobello Street, Sheffield S1 4DP, UK
City of Gothenburg, Department of Environment, Box 7012, 402 31 Gothenburg, Sweden
Business Region Gothenburg, City Hall, SE-404 82 Gothenburg, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3337;
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
PDF [483 KB, uploaded 17 June 2019]


Global food insecurity levels remain stubbornly high. One of the surest ways to grasp the scale and consequence of global inequality is through a food systems lens. In a predominantly urban world, urban food systems present a useful lens to engage a wide variety of urban (and global) challenges—so called ‘wicked problems.’ This paper describes a collaborative research project between four urban food system research units, two European and two African. The project purpose was to seek out solutions to what lay between, across and within the different approaches applied in the understanding of each city’s food system challenges. Contextual differences and immediate (perceived) needs resulted in very different views on the nature of the challenge and the solutions required. Value positions of individuals and their disciplinary “enclaves” presented further boundaries. The paper argues that finding consensus provides false solutions. Rather the identification of novel approaches to such wicked problems is contingent of these differences being brought to the fore, being part of the conversation, as devices through which common positions can be discovered, where spaces are created for the realisation of new perspectives, but also, where difference is celebrated as opposed to censored. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban food system; food systems change; wicked problems; sustainability; urban food security urban food system; food systems change; wicked problems; sustainability; urban food security

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Haysom, G.; Olsson, E.G.A.; Dymitrow, M.; Opiyo, P.; Taylor Buck, N.; Oloko, M.; Spring, C.; Fermskog, K.; Ingelhag, K.; Kotze, S.; Agong, S.G. Food Systems Sustainability: An Examination of Different Viewpoints on Food System Change. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3337.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top