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Knowledge for policy

Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Projects and activities | 17 June 2019

Food4Cities - Exploring food system transformations in rapidly changing African cities

Global Food and Nutrition Security

Food insecurity and malnutrition, once restricted mainly to rural areas, are spreading rapidly in Africa’s expanding cities. Conventional production-based responses from the agricultural sector will not ensure nutrition security in these cities, without also considering drivers that affect food access, affordability and stability. A much more systemic perspective of city food systems is needed, from sustainable production through to consumption, and understanding functional cross-scale linkages along this pathway. Appropriate city planning and policy can play a major role in this endeavour, driving more sustainable and resilient food systems across the urban, peri-urban and rural food landscape. Yet food systems and nutrition security are distinctly lacking in most African city planning and policy. To address this gap, this project aims to promote sustainable and nutrition-secure city food systems by developing knowledge and tools for local and national development planning. The project focuses on two African cities (Kampala and Cape Town), and is built around four objectives: knowledge co-production and participatory planning, characterizing city food systems, modeling current food system dynamics and exploring alternative futures, and collaborative planning. The project has a strong conceptual foundation in food systems analysis and modeling. It employs a range of scientific methodologies such as spatial analysis, systems-dynamics and value-chain modelling, trade-offs in bundles of ecosystem services, integrated social, economic and ecological assessment, scenario planning, and transformative pathways analysis. Importantly, the technical science is embedded in a knowledge co-production and participatory planning process to promote uptake of the information by end users and scale impact of the science.