Jane Battersby is an urban geographer with an interest in all things food related. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental & Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, and a Research Associate of the African Centre for Cities. Her current areas of particular interest are urban food systems, urban food policies and the construction of food security theory in Northern and Southern research contexts. This work has both theoretical and applied components. Underpinning her food work is an ongoing interest in the linkages between spatial transformation and identity transformation in post-apartheid urban areas – a topic she has addressed through the lenses of youth identities, education, music and land restitution.

She has been the Cape Town Partner of the African Food Security Urban Network (AFSUN) since 2008. She is currently the Research Coordinator of the ACC’s Consuming Urban Poverty Project, is associated with the Hungry Cities Programme, and is the PI of the Nourishing Spaces project.

Jane is the Premio Daniel Carasso 2017 laureate. She is actively engaged in international, national, provincial and local government policy process, having acted in an advisory or consultative position at these levels, and currently a member of the South African Vulnerability Assessment Committee (SAVAC). Jane serves on the advisory boards of several international research projects.

She has supervised students from honours to post-doctoral level. Jane holds a PhD from Oxford University, a Masters from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a BSc(Hons) from Kings College, London, and has been

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  • Battersby, J. (2020) ‘Looking Backward to Go Forward’ in Gastronomica: Journal of Critical Food Studies Spring 2020 19-20.
  • Battersby, J. (2018) ‘Cities and urban food poverty in Africa’, in Watson, V., Bhan, G. and Srinvas, S. (Eds.) Companion to Planning in the Global South, Routledge: London. ISBN-13: 978- 1138932814
  • Battersby, J. & Haysom, G. (2016) Africa’s Urban Food and Nutrition Transition: A Call to Action, Consuming Urban Poverty Project Working Paper No. 1, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town.
  • Crush, J. & Battersby, J. (Eds.) (2016) Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts And Food Security In Africa, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-43567-1
  • Battersby, J. (2016) MDGs to SDGs – New goals, same gaps: The continued absence of urban food security in the post-2015 global development agenda, African Geographical Review DOI:10.1080/19376812.2016.1208769
  • Battersby, J. & Crush, J. (2016) The making of urban food deserts, in Crush, J. & Battersby, J. (Eds.) Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts And Food Security In Africa, Springer.
  • Battersby, J. & Peyton, S. (2016) The Spatial Logic of Supermarket Expansion and Food Access, in Crush, J. & Battersby, J. (Eds.) Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts And Food Security In Africa, Springer.
  • Peyton, S., Moseley, W. & Battersby, J. (2016) Implications of supermarket expansion on urban food security in Cape Town, South Africa, in Moseley, W.G., Schnurr, M.A. & Kerr, R.B. (Eds.) Africa’s Green Revolution: Critical Perspectives on New Agricultural Technologies and Systems, Routledge, Abingdon.
  • Battersby, J. (2015) Food security amongst urban households, in Fukudu-Parr, S. and Taylor, V. (eds.) Food security in South Africa: Human rights and entitlement perspectives, UCT Press/Juta, Cape Town, pp. 97-11.
  • Battersby, J. (2015) Food security as a lens on the lived experience of poverty in Philippi, in Brown-Luthango, M. (ed.) State/Society Synergy in Philippi, Cape Town, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, pp. 94-117
  • Pereira, C., McLachlan, M. & Battersby, J. (2015) Understanding Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: A Qualitative Investigation in the Mitchells Plain Sub-district of Cape Town, European Journal of Nutrition and Food Safety, 5(5) 745-746, DOI: 10.9734/EJNFS/2015/21069
  • Peyton, S., Moseley, W. & Battersby, J.(2015) Implications of supermarket expansion on urban food security in Cape Town, South Africa, African Geographical Review, 34 (1) 36-54
  • Battersby, J. (2014) The need for a diverse, responsive food system, Urban Agriculture Magazine, 27 (Urban Agriculture and Climate Change), pp. 10-12
  • Battersby, J. & Crush, J. (2014) Africa’s urban food deserts, Urban Forum, 25 (2), 143-151
  • Battersby, J. & Peyton, S. (2014) The geography of supermarkets in Cape Town: Supermarket expansion and food access, Urban Forum, 25 (2), 153-164
  • Battersby, J. & McLachlan, M. (2013) Urban food security: A neglected public health challenge? South African Medical Journal 103 (10) 716-717.
  • Battersby, J. (2013) Urban agriculture and race in South Africa, in Slocum, R. & Saldanha, A. (eds.) Geographies of Race and Food: Fields, Bodies and Markets, Ashgate Press, Farnham, pp. 117-136.
  • Battersby, J. (2013) Hungry Cities: A critical review of urban food security research in sub-Saharan Africa, Geography Compass 7(7) 452-463
  • Battersby, J. & Marshak, M. (2013) Growing communities: Integrating the social and economic benefits of urban agriculture in Cape Town, Urban Forum doa.10.1007/s12132-013-9193-1
  • Battersby, J. (2012) Beyond the food desert: finding ways to speak about urban food security in South Africa, Geographiska Annaler 94 (2) 141-158
  • Battersby, J. (2012) Urban food security and climate change: A system of flows, in Moser, C., Frayne, B and Ziervogel, G. (eds) Climate Change, Assets and Food Security in Southern African Cities, Earthscan, Abingdon, pp. 35-56.
  • Battersby, J. (2011) Urban food insecurity in Cape Town, South Africa: A critical assessment of the operation of the formal and informal food sectors, Development Southern Africa 28 (4) 545-561.
  • Battersby, J. (2011) The State of Urban Food Security in Cape Town, Urban Food Security Series No. 11, AFSUN, Queen’s University, Canada


  • The Nature of Cities: Jane Battersby, The Nature of Cities Roundtable on Urban agriculture has many benefits. Is one of them a contribution to urban sustainability? 1 July 2016.
  • The Conversation: Jane Battersby, Why urban argriculture isn’t a panacea for Africa’s food crisis.The Conversation, 15 April 2016.
  • The Conversation: Jane Battersby, What’s driving sub-Saharan Africa’s malnutrition problem. The Conversation, 3 March 2016.
  • Bettencourt, L.M.A., Fernandezm M., Vergara, V.M., Battersby, J., Stein, A. (2013) Guardian Development
  • Cape Times Op-ed: Jane Battersby, Hunger haunts our cities. Op-ed. The Cape Times. 17 May 2013
  • Cape Times Insight: Jane Battersby-Lennard and Jonathan Crush, Failure of the food market means many in our city go hungry. Op-ed. The Cape Times. 23 January 2013
  • Business Day Analysis: Gareth Haysom and Jane Battersby-Lennard, Ask yourself: where do my vegetables come from? Business Day. 19 August 2012


South African Cities Network Food Security Study (2015) – Team leader

City of Cape Town Food System Study (2013) – Team leader

Rooftops Canada, Philippi Horticultural Area Study (2012)

German Development Agency (GIZ) on Urban Food Security Feasibility Study (2011)

UNEP-START, Integrating Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Development Planning (2011)