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Systemic Design for Food Self-Sufficiency in Urban Areas

Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad Panamericana, Álvaro del Portillo 49, Zapopan, Jalisco 45010, Mexico
Centro de Investigaciones Económicas, Sociales y Tecnológicas de la Agroindustria y la Agricultura Mundial (CIESTAAM), Chapingo Autonomous University (UACh), Carretera México—Texcoco Km. 38.5, Chapingo, Estado de México 56230, Mexico
School of Business and Law, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS13HU, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7558;
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 9 September 2020 / Published: 14 September 2020
This article adopts a systemic approach to address the problem of the operationalization of relationships between actors conducive to food self-sufficiency in urban areas. Through the use of Social Network Analysis (SNA), the literature on urban agriculture was analyzed, detecting eight key trends and topic areas. This information was used to design a generic recursive organizational structure with the identification of the key roles and functions for management and governance in the multi-level and multi-stakeholder relationships of a sustainable urban self-sufficient food production system, inspired by the principles of complexity management and organizational cybernetics. Methodologically, this is the first application that combines the exploratory capability of SNA and the recursive structure of the Viable System Model (VSM) to propose applicable organizational structures in any urban area, suggesting a new route for the study and application of systemic thinking in the development of urban agriculture schemes. However, due to the conceptual nature of this work, this study opens a discussion on how we can rethink interactions to seek continuous adaptation in food self-sufficiency, provide tools that foster inclusion, and adapt to every context to support the relevant actors and academics in urban agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban agriculture; food security; systems thinking; social resilience; networks urban agriculture; food security; systems thinking; social resilience; networks
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MDPI and ACS Style

Núñez-Ríos, J.E.; Aguilar-Gallegos, N.; Sánchez-García, J.Y.; Cardoso-Castro, P.P. Systemic Design for Food Self-Sufficiency in Urban Areas. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7558.

AMA Style

Núñez-Ríos JE, Aguilar-Gallegos N, Sánchez-García JY, Cardoso-Castro PP. Systemic Design for Food Self-Sufficiency in Urban Areas. Sustainability. 2020; 12(18):7558.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Núñez-Ríos, Juan E., Norman Aguilar-Gallegos, Jacqueline Y. Sánchez-García, and Pedro P. Cardoso-Castro. 2020. "Systemic Design for Food Self-Sufficiency in Urban Areas" Sustainability 12, no. 18: 7558.

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