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Food Security

Posted on | February 8, 2015 | Comments Off

WG19 – Food Security: Meanings, Practices and Policies

Food insecurity is increasingly “bimodal”, encompassing issues of quantity and quality, under- and over- consumption, in developed and developing countries alike. At a time when most of the world’s population lives in cities, food security has also assumed a strong urban dimension, raising new issues of physical and financial access to food. Finally, the recent emergence of a “New Food Equation”, marked by food price hikes, dwindling natural resources, land grabbing activities, social unrest, and the effects of climate change, is bringing onto the global food security agenda a range of often interrelated sustainability concerns.

This working group aims to enhance understanding of this new global geography of food security and of the local responses to it. It will focus in particular on three questions: What innovative solutions have been devised to increase access to healthy food for the most vulnerable people? How can access to healthy food be balanced across different geographical scales? What type of policies and governance mechanisms are needed to reduce gaps in food access for the poorest?

We will welcome contributions on theory, practices and policies associated with food security in both developed and developing countries. From a theoretical perspective, we encourage analyses of the changing meanings of “food security” and the need for a refined research agenda that integrates a focus on food production (agriculture) with a consideration of increasingly complex issues of access to healthy food. From a policy and practice standpoint, we welcome empirical analyses of initiatives devised to combat food insecurity at the urban and regional level – where barriers to access become more tangible.

In this working group, priority will be given to contributions proposed around the following themes:
• Constructing food security: contested meanings, innovative practices and key actors
• Food security and the reconfiguration of the spatial, socio-economic and environmental linkages between urban and rural areas
• Increasing access to healthy food across different scales
• The city challenge: urban strategies for food security
• Inclusiveness and reflexivity in food security governance


Roberta Sonnino and Ana Moragues Faus, School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff University, UK


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