Today already more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will be risen to two-thirds. The continuous increase of urban population is due to factors like rural-urban migration, natural disasters or livelihood insecurities. Providing food and nutrition security for the rapidly expanding populations in the world’s cities is a pressing challenge in this changing world. Delivering nutritious food to cities is a complex problem that is also challenged by natural resource scarcity, climate change, and population growth, which affect food systems globally.
Working towards sustainable and resilient urban food systems serving densely populated areas
The urban population heavily relies on a multitude of food systems for their daily food needs, varying from industrial agro-logistical networks to local engagement of consumers with producers. The projected population growth adds a layer of complexity to the current food systems. Strengthening the access to nutritious, affordable and acceptable food for sustainable communities in the cities requires resilient agri-food systems. Therefore, a better understanding of urban, peri-urban and rural food systems from an integral perspective is vital for contributing to the resilience of these food systems against the pressing trends of our era.
Achieving urban food and nutrition security is a great challenge
Against the background of these developments, achieving urban food and nutrition security is one of our main future challenges, calling for integrated solutions. It is crucial to develop resilient agri-food systems, effectively linking rural and urban areas, and manage food value chains from production to consumption in a holistic approach including efficient waste and energy management. Alongside these approaches, public health interventions are required to provide effective food safety nets, improve nutrition literacy, and induce changes in adequate quantities for urban dwellers, but also assuring environmental, social and economic sustainability of the production areas.
1. Participants get well acquainted with the framework of city region food systems in relation to food and nutrition security in densely populated areas.
2. Participants are able to use the concepts of city region food systems to analyse urban food and nutrition security issues
3. Participants are able to use different designs, methods and approaches, and their interrelationships, in planning for food and nutrition security in urbanizing societies.
The course is open to international participants and to MSc students of Wageningen University, preferably active in one of the following fields: rural/urban/spatial planning, agribusiness development, rural/urban livelihood governance, food and nutrition security and sustainable development. Several years of professional work experience and at least a BSc level are additional assets. Proficiency in English is a must.