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Towards a New Food Security Index for Urban Household Food Security

The multidimensionality of food security can confound both statistical modelling and clear policy narratives. That complexity can become amplified in urban areas where food security is often a function of both local and global factors. Rather than focusing on one dimension of food security metrics, this investigation proposes a method for building an index of […]

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Inclusive Growth and Informal Food Vending in Mexico City, Mexico

This report describes and analyzes the food system of Mexico City’s Metropolitan Zone, where small-scale street commerce has experienced huge growth in recent decades. The food retail, distribution, and preparation sectors are a major component of urban informality in the Global South. The informal food economy comprises a network of informal markets, suppliers, transporters, mobile

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The Role of Infrastructure Access in Urban Household Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Southern Cities

The geographical concentration of poverty in informal neighbourhoods across cities is a common socio-economic feature of the urban form. Many of these impoverished areas also suffer from limited access to urban infrastructure. Given the expense and planning necessary to develop urban infrastructure, these areas are socially vulnerable in part because of their exclusion from urban

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Governing the Informal Food Sector in Cities of the Global South

The role of the informal food sector in the urban food system cannot be appreciated or understood without the compilation and analysis of systematic and representative data on the activities of informal enterprises across a city and along food supply chains outside it. At present, there are significant gaps in the knowledge base about the

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Do Urban Food Deserts Exist in the Global South? An Analysis of Nairobi and Mexico City

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 this kind of food sourcing behavior to poverty, food insecurity, and dietary diversity characteristics. While the term continues to evolve, there

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Urban Food Deserts in Nairobi and Mexico City

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

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An Urban Perspective on Food Security in the Global South

The global food security policy community should reorient its actions on food security in the Global South to consider the urban food consumer. Since it is currently working with value chains in rural areas, we recommend that this view is extended into urban areas. Specifically, global and multilateral actors and national and local governments need

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The SDGs, Food Security and Urbanization in the Global South

As governments develop policies to achieve SDG 2 in rapidly urbanizing countries, the need to pay particular attention to the role of the informal economy, non-food issues, pro-poor pricing structures and healthy food consumption patterns will increase. The case studies in Mexico, China, Kenya and India have highlighted important food security challenges facing urban dwellers

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Compounding Vulnerability: A Model of Urban Household Food Security

The efficiency of the infrastructure systems in cities will define the extent to which dystopic visions of urban futures become a reality. At the level of the individual household, vulnerability to hazards in cities is defined, in part, by the ability to access essential resources and services. This discussion paper proposes a model to help

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