Call for papers: Special Issue on urban food policies for a sustainable and just future

Programme Type: ProjectsPublishingUrban Research Programme:

Co-editors Ana Moragues-Faus and Jane Battersby of a special issue of the Journal of Food Policy entitled Urban food policies for a sustainable and just future, are calling for submissions.

In a context of increasing urbanization, cities have been signalled as key sites for revolution, where transformation of nature becomes most visible, both in its physical form and its socio-ecological consequences (Heynen et al., 2006; Swyngedouw and Heynen, 2003). The urban has become a critical space to (re)produce current environmental, social and economic dynamics spanning within and across geographies (Brenner et al., 2011), and, therefore, a vital site to rework the spatialised politics that result in different forms of socio-economic, political and environmental injustice within and beyond food systems (McFarlane, 2011; Roy, 2009; Uitermark et al., 2012). In the last decade, city governments around the globe have mobilised the convening power of food to develop urban policies that integrate different sectors and actors implicated in delivering good food for all (Moragues-Faus and Morgan, 2015). Hundreds of cities are actively engaged in addressing socio-economic and health inequalities as well as sustainability challenges using food as a multifunctional vehicle (Morgan and Sonnino, 2010). The role of cities in creating more sustainable and just foodscapes is also now recognised in key international arenas a such as the United Nations New Urban Agenda or the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015; UN Habitat, 2015).

Despite widely celebrated advances in global food policy fora and academic debates, urban food insecurity figures are not improving, even in the most pioneering cities food bank users are increasing or racial divides in terms of access to good food persist (BH Food Partnership, 2018; Freudenberg et al., 2018). Increasing socio-economic and racial inequalities within urban spaces are reproducing a ‘food’ tale of two cities. At the same time, cities are hotspots driving social-ecological change at multiple scales; indeed their material demands modify land uses and access to resources at the local, regional and international level, with urban consumption and related waste also affecting local to global biogeochemical cycles and climate (Grimm et al., 2008). In this context, it is urgent to revisit the role of cities across the globe in delivering sustainability and food security outcomes, as well as providing refreshed theoretical tools to critically understand urban food dynamics and their multiscalar and spatial interdependencies.

This special issue aims to reflect on a decade of urban food policy and identifies key concepts and levers to deepen and broaden a transformative urban food agenda. The guest editors invite the submission of papers that want to contribute to delineate this new urban food agenda to be considered for publication in a special issue of food policy. We welcome original contributions in the remit of urban food policy that allow us to capture the evolution of the field and also point out future directions in this arena. Areas of particular interest include: i) evaluation of urban food policy interventions and their capacity to build more sustainable, fair and secure food systems, including, where possible, quantitative evidence; ii) comparative studies of cities from different geographies, sizes and immersed in diverse governance context; iii) integration of food sensitivity into wider urban policy and planning. This special issue aims to reflect the transdisciplinary character of urban food studies and therefore encourages contributions from a range of academic fields such as food and environmental economics, sociology, human geography and public policy.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed following journal policy. Published papers must follow the formatting standards of Food Policy at the time of publication. Formatting instructions can be found online here. Papers for this special issue should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words. Full draft papers should be submitted by 30 April 2020 via Editorial Manager ( Please select this special issue from the drop-down menu that will appear in the submissions portal after you log in to the site.