Urban-Rural Linkages and Urban Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Authors: Tom Evans*, University of Arizona - Geography & Development, Zack Guido, University of Arizona, Andrew Zimmer, University of Arizona, Megan Konar, University of Illinois, Jordan Blekking, Indiana University, Kurt Waldman, Indiana University, Cascade Tuholske, University of California - Santa Barbara, Kelly Caylor, University of California Santa Barbara, Kathy Baylis, University of Illinois, Lyndon Estes, Clark University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Urban, Food Security, urban-rural linkages, Sub-Saharan Africa, GIS, Spatial Modeling, land change science
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Coolidge, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban population growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to result in a transition whereby urban population exceeds rural population by 2050. And Africa is projected to be the fastest urbanizing continent by 2050. This trend has important implications for urban-rural linkages and how the distribution of rural food production can meet the needs of urban households. While megacities will impose critical demands on food supplies, more than 60% or urban population in Africa live in cities with fewer than 1M residents. This suggests the importance of a dynamic spatial analysis to understand how the variable growth rate of cities regionally will affect food transfers and food prices. We present data from Sub-Saharan Africa investigating the impact of urban population growth on proximal and distal food production. This work draws on the concept of city-region food systems in acknowledging the spatial relationships inherent in food flows and the impacts of rural dynamics on urban food security. Cities of different sizes have different types of urban-rural linkages and we present implications for the resilience of urban food security to social and environmental shocks in rural areas drawing on remote sensing data, market prices and demographic data.

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