Sustainable food systems

Economic resilience, environmental integrity, social well-being and governance of food systems is vital to the development of sustainable territorially embedded local and regional food systems both in developed and in developing countries. Improving the sustainability of production, processing, transportation, retail, consumption of food and the consequent production of waste is an emerging challenge for policy makers and planners at all levels of geographical scale. We are interested in how consumers’ preferences translate into financial triggers for land users, and how these in turn translate into land use and management change. Particularly relevant from a planning perspective are processes of up-scaling and down-scaling from the national to the supra-national and from the national to the metropolitan level of scale, therewith accounting for leapfrogging and distal relationships. Our group aims to enhance knowledge about present food systems and identifying opportunities for future improvement without compromising basic economic and ecological constraints. Our research covers a wide spectre of food related land uses in the domains of food production, food processing, food transportation, retail, consumption and waste - taking stock of nutrient flows within the frame of urban and regional metabolism. Planners are geared to play a pivotal role in the current process of transition toward more sustainable food systems.