Publications: Hungry Cities Papers

HCP Discussion Paper No. 29: Modes of Governance of Street Food Vending in Nanjing, China

Ning Dai, Taiyang Zhong and Steffanie Scott

In the Global South, the informal food economy is both a source of income for disadvantaged urban groups and an accessible source of food for consumers. Yet governance of this economy has commonly been restrictive in Southern countries including China. Consequently, in China there has been an antagonistic relationship between vendors and chengguan (China’s city…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 28: Urban Food Deserts in Nairobi and Mexico City

Jeremy Wagner, Lucy Hinton, Cameron McCordic, Samuel Owuor, Guenola Capron and Salomón Gonzalez Arellano

Recent conceptualizations of “food deserts” have expanded from a sole focus on access to supermarkets, to food retail outlets, to all household food sources. Each iteration of the urban food desert concept has associated food sourcing behaviour in relation to household poverty, food insecurity, and dietary diversity characteristics. While the term continues to evolve, there…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 27: Social Protection and Urban Food Systems

Gareth Haysom and Issahaka Fuseini

This discussion paper examines development implications for food and nutrition when cash transfer interventions intersect with food system changes, particularly in urban areas where food is predominantly accessed through the market. South Africa is used as a case study because of its advanced social protection system as well as the rapid food system changes it…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 26: Supermarkets and Informal Food Vendors in Windhoek, Namibia

Ndeyapo Nickanor, Lawrence Kazembe and Jonathan Crush

Much of the literature on urban food systems has focused on the expansion of supermarkets and their ability to reach urban consumers. However, the current pace of urbanization and rising urban poverty have been accompanied by a major upsurge in informality and a growing role for the informal food sector. One of the persistent arguments…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 25: The Climate Change-Food Security Nexus: Intergovernmental Frameworks and Hyper-Experimentation in Cities

Carrie L. Mitchell, Joanne Fitzgibbons, Kristen Regier and Siya Agrawal

In this discussion paper we detail the challenges of tackling the food security-climate change nexus in an era of hyper-experimentation in cities. We detail how the challenge of addressing food security and climate change at the international scale has opened the metaphorical door for urban experimentation, or interventions in the processes of city building at…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 24: Achieving Urban Food Security through a Public-Private Hybrid Food Provisioning System: A Case Study of Nanjing, China

Taiyang Zhong, Zhenzhong Si, Jonathan Crush, Xianjin Huang, Steffanie Scott, Menglu Yan, Shuangshuang Tang and Xiang Zhang

Private and public markets are two models of urban food retailing governance. This paper examines the public-private hybrid model of urban food provisioning system and its governance in Nanjing, China. Based on data from surveys, non-structured interviews, and bibliographical material analysis, we examine the public-private hybrid model and its linkages with urban food security. Our…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 23: Food Vending and the Urban Informal Sector in Cape Town, South Africa

Godfrey Tawodzera

In South Africa, the informal food sector is either criminalized or ignored, despite the important role it plays in the economy in terms of employment, income generation, food distribution, and general livelihoods. This paper assesses the nature, operations, strategies, and challenges of the informal food sector in Cape Town. Data was collected through a survey…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 22: Predictors of Household Food Insecurity in Maputo and Matola, Mozambique

Cameron McCordic and Ezequiel Abrahamo

The rapid growth of Maputo and Matola (neighbouring cities in Southern Mozambique) has dramatically changed each city’s demographic and food insecurity profile. Previous research in Maputo indicates that household access to infrastructure plays an important role in determining vulnerability to food insecurity. This paper investigates (a) whether this relationship is also true of Matola and…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 21: Urban Informal Food Deserts in Windhoek, Namibia

Ndeyapo Nickanor, Lawrence Kazembe and Jonathan Crush

Informal settlements in rapidly-growing African cities are urban and peri-urban spaces with high rates of formal unemployment, poverty, poor health outcomes, limited service provision and chronic food insecurity. Traditional concepts of food deserts developed to describe North American and European cities do not accurately capture the realities of food inaccessibility in Africa’s urban informal food…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 20: Cross-Platform Food Shopping and Household Food Access in Nanjing, China

Cameron McCordic, Zhenzhong Si and Taiyang Zhong

Modern urban food systems have evolved into international, multi-scalar and complex networks. The historical evolution of the food system in Nanjing, China, exemplifies this complexity. Nanjing’s food system has undergone successive waves of modernization, bringing changes in consumer food sourcing behaviour along with it. Using household survey data, this investigation assesses the cross-platform food sourcing…