Consuming urban poverty: food systems planning and governance in Africa’s secondary cities

Programme Type: Urban Research Programme:

The ACC is leading a three-year research project about governing food systems to alleviate poverty in secondary cities in Africa. The work is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DfID).

The cities are Kitwe (Zambia), Kisumu (Kenya) and Epworth (Zimbabwe)

Four work packages will generate an understanding of the connections between poverty, governance, urban space and food.

The Urbanization and Poverty work package will ascertain the patterns and drivers of urbanization and poverty in the three case studies. It will draw on existing large-scale data sets, and in combination with remote sensing work it will assess land use and land cover change. This analysis will generate new understandings of the overall patterns of urban change in secondary cities.

The Urban Food System and Food Poverty work package’s objective is to scrutinize food poverty as an indicator of the workings of persistent, pervasive and systemic urban poverty. Fieldwork in the case study cities will examine the nature of the urban food system and the experience of food poverty, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative methods.

The Governance work package focuses on current and historical governance of urban food systems. It also focuses on the governed practices of food provisioning through conducting an environmental and social life cycle assessment of the urban food system, followed by an investigation of the applicability of a cleaner production approach to informal work in food supply chains, focusing on roadside catering in Kitwe.

The final work package focuses on implementable policies and strategies through analysis of successful interventions in urban food systems, and assessment of their applicability to the African secondary city context.

For more information about the project click here.