Toward More Sustainable and Resilient City-Region Food Systems in South Africa & Botswana

Authors: Julia Davies*, University of Arizona, Tom Evans, University of Arizona, Zackary Guido, University of Arizona
Topics: Urban Geography, Development, Global Change
Keywords: Urban food security, urban food systems, rural-urban linkages, City-Region Food Systems, southern Africa,
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Over the last half-century, urban population growth in southern Africa has been unprecedented, and is likely to persist in future. For some, life in rapidly-expanding cities and towns is ripe with the promise of improved livelihoods and wellbeing. Millions, however, live in overcrowded, underserviced slum areas on the margins of cities, with a relative absence of resources and opportunities. A critical concern underlying this new wave of urbanism is that people are hungry – and, moreover, that this hunger remains largely ‘invisible’ in urban planning and development agendas. Whilst there is growing concern around the need to address urban food security (UFS), less is known about how to tackle this challenge, which is proving to be less about food availability and more about economic and spatial accessibility. Through the lens of the City-Region Food System, which emphasizes the linkages between rural and urban localities, actors and processes, this project maps the origins and trends of UFS in Botswana and South Africa. In this first phase of the project we conduct a systematic literature review to determine: i) what are the drivers of UFS; ii) which variables are important for analyzing urban food system dynamics; and iii) how can these food systems be made more resilient? We draw on publicly-available population and market price datasets and apply these as proxy measurements to project, through space-time substitution, how city-regions in Botswana and South Africa might look in the future - and, ultimately, how this will affect the food security of urban inhabitants.

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