Publications: Hungry Cities Papers

HCP Discussion Paper No. 35: The Food Safety and Food Security Nexus in the Urbanizing Global South

Jodi Koberinski, Zhenzhong Si and Steffanie Scott

Socioeconomic and structural changes in the global food system, driven by rapid urbanization in the Global South, shape the nature and scale of food safety problems as well as the strategies designed to cope with them. These changes create new challenges for ensuring food security, given that food safety is an essential dimension of food…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 34: The Political Economy of Informal Food Vending in Kingston, Jamaica

Robert Kinlocke and Elizabeth Thomas-Hope

Small-scale food enterprises occupy a critical space in the food system of Kingston, Jamaica. While small-scale food retailers serve the entire population, they are disproportionately relied on by poor urban households. The nodes and networks of retailers play an important role in the value and commodity chain by providing access to comparatively cheap food but…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 33: Containing the Informal Food Sector in Windhoek, Namibia

Lawrence Kazembe, Ndeyapo Nickanor and Jonathan Crush

Policy responses to the growth of the informal food sector in African cities vary from benign neglect to active destruction. The eradication of street food vending is the dominant mode of governance. Alternative approaches that recognize the inevitability of informality and the role of the sector in making food accessible to the urban poor have…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 32: Wet Market Vendor Profits in Nanjing, China: A Spatial Analysis

Xinxian Qi, Taiyang Zhong, Zhenzhong Si, Xianjin Huang and Jonathan Crush

Wet markets play an important role in urban food security in many Asian countries. Existing research pays more attention to the wet market food accessibility of urban residents and less on the business operations and profits of wet market vendors. Based on a survey of 1,119 small food enterprises in Nanjing, this study employs the…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 31: Motivations and Challenges of Youth Entrepreneurs in Maputo’s Food Markets

Cameron McCordic and Ines Raimundo

Amidst a growing youth unemployment crisis spreading across Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a pressing need for effective policy intervention, based on sound research, to support young people’s entry into labour markets. As urban labour markets continue to catalyze the growth of national economies in the Global South, the inclusion of youth entrepreneurs in the food…

HCP Discussion Paper No. 30: Governing the Informal Food Sector in Cities of the Global South

Graeme Young and Jonathan Crush

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…

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…