Many developing countries are fast becoming urbanised. City dwellers face malnutrition, obesity and too little access to healthy food. A range of expertise is being brought together to work with stakeholders on the dynamics of urban food systems, and devise strategic interventions and practical solutions to help improve food security.
Cities all over the world are ever-expanding and becoming more complex in terms of logistics and administration. They need a robust and sustainable food system to provide everyone with enough healthy food.
How do you feed growing cities? How do you strengthen their connections with the surrounding farmland that could provide enough healthy food? There has been too little research into the dynamics of urban food systems and their interaction with the surrounding countryside. In order to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of Zero hunger (SDG 2) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), WUR is committed to working with relevant stakeholders on developing suitable approaches, methods and, above all, strategic interventions and solutions. The aim is to gain a better understanding of, and therefore a get a better grip on, urban food systems while paying particular attention to the impact migration has on food security to create sustainable, resilient urban food systems. The Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystem Nexus plays an important part in meeting these challenges.
In the coming years, work will be done on the further development of existing analytical frameworks in the areas of food, the rural-urban connection and migration into a joint analytical framework for urban food systems. This will be done by drawing on representative cities in Africa and Asia, and in close cooperation with stakeholders at various levels. This framework will form a basis for further diagnostics and scenario analyses. It will take into account various crucial aspects, such as governance, spatial structure, spatial economy, supply chain and logistic relationships. We shall continue working with the stakeholders on practical case studies (or living labs) to explore strategic interventions and practical solutions.
Eventually, we shall formulate further investment and innovation strategies with governments, entrepreneurs, NGOs and scientific partners.