In the last decade, there has been an increasing focus on the role of cities in providing people with food, linking into existing food systems in new ways. At the same time, debates are taking place about the future of cities, as technology plays an increasing role in shaping how residents navigate and use urban areas. Two papers from the CCRI team highlight how these innovations are developing food and cities are published in a special edition of ‘City, Culture, Society’. The theme for the special edition is ‘City Food Governance’ and “it highlights the smart, sustainable and inclusive nature of the governance that underpin city food systems and draws attention to the infrastructural service developments, municipal strategies and capacity-building exercises, which support them”. The special edition can be accessed via the link below, where you can also read an introduction to the special edition written by its editors Mark Deakin, Nunzia Borrelli, Davide Diamantini.
In the paper by Damian Maye, he reflects on how city planning and food system planning need to come together by paying close attention to the social aspects of innovation. For this to happen, the focus needs not to be on only on technology but how different people understand the food system and that change needs to be open to a wide variety of voices and contributions. The often promoted idea of a city enabled by sensors and connected devices will not only focus too heavily on one answer but will not encourage citizens to engage with the changes needed to reach sustainability. Access to Damian’s paper can be found below:
In the paper written by Matt Reed and Dan Keech, they have focused on the example of the food networks of Bristol. Through focusing on the development of food strategy documents in the city the paper considers the difficulties planners have in including active groups of citizens. The linear planning system struggles with how citizens are using social media to create multiple plans and initiatives to promoted local and sustainable food in the city. In this way, the activities of the cities’ citizens challenge the vision of a centralised smart city. Access to Matt and Dan’s paper can be found below:
The EU supported these papers through the SUPURBFOOD project – www.supurbfood.eu SUPURBfood FP7 grant agreement number 312126.
Free access has been provided to each paper until May 24th, after which time access will be subscription only.