Cities, Planning and Urban Food Poverty in Africa
2017. In Gautam Bhan, Smita Srinivas, Vanessa Watson (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South. London: Routledge.
Food insecurity has historically been viewed as predominantly rural in location and hunger-based in manifestation. As such, it has been understood as being largely outside of the realm of urban planning. In recent years there has been an upsurge in interest in urban food issues and food systems governance in North America and Europe, focussing on food policy and planning for food justice, addressing food deserts and obesogenic environments, and food system sustainability. The chapter argues that there are important contextual differences that need to be considered by African urban planners in order to address food insecurity. Current approaches to food insecurity are dominated by what has been termed the ‘twin-track approach’ of direct interventions and social investments to address the immediate needs of the poor and hungry (food aid, social safety nets, and so on) and development programmes to enhance the performance of the productive sectors create employment and increase the value of assets held by the poor.