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

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African Centre for Cities, EGS Building, University of Cape Town, Cape Town 7701, South Africa
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School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Box 700, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
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Mistra Urban Futures, Chalmers University of Technology, Läraregatan 3, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
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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
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Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kisumu 40100, Kisumu County, Kenya
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The Urban Institute, University of Sheffield, 219 Portobello Street, Sheffield S1 4DP, UK
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City of Gothenburg, Department of Environment, Box 7012, 402 31 Gothenburg, Sweden
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Business Region Gothenburg, City Hall, SE-404 82 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123337
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 June 2019 / Published: 17 June 2019
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PDF [483 KB, uploaded 17 June 2019]
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Abstract

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
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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.

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