The Making of Urban Food Deserts

Jane Battersby and Jonathan Crush


Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa

The main objective of this book is to examine aspects of the relationship between food and cities in the Global South, and Africa in particular. While food security policy thinking at the global and national scale has largely neglected the urban dimension, those concerned with urban transformation have largely ignored food security and food systems. It is therefore important to understand the dimensions and character of the continent’s 21st century urban transition and to lay out what we do know about urban food systems and the drivers of food insecurity in the cities. The chapter first describes the urban transition currently under way in Africa and the main characteristics of Africa’s urban revolution. The next section examines the dimensions and challenges of urban food insecurity in African cities. Then the chapter turns to the actual connections between food and cities as seen through the lens of the concept of “food deserts.” It shows how each of the contributions to this volume illuminates different facets of the complex reality of the African urban food desert.

Citation: 2016. In J. Crush and J. Battersby (eds.), Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa (Switzerland: Springer).

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