In this conference, we approach regional food systems with an agroecological and socio-equity lens, in which food production and distribution are shaped by a “package of value-based practices which are explicitly addressing social and environmental justice, are culturally sensitive, non-extractive, resource-conserving, and rooted in non-hierarchical and inclusive pedagogical and educational models” (Dehaene and Tornaghi, 2021). We use the term agroecological urbanism as a vision for food-enabling urbanism, while also being open to broader contributions on urban food planning, policy, and governance.
Image: Tamara Hoornweg, Fieldwork, Aeres University of Applied Science
Specifically, the conference centers on three main thematic tracks around regional food systems: (1) Socio-cultural inclusion and community building, (2) Planning and governance for food-enabling urbanism, and (3) an open track.
With urbanization, the cultural landscape of major European cities has been upturned, with increasing diversity in ethnic backgrounds and ethnic minorities collectively comprising the majority of the population. In such super-diverse so-called ‘majority-minority’ cities, many culturally-diverse food consumption practices take place. This diversity in food consumption practices is extremely relevant when we talk about regional food systems. Regional food systems strongly encourage the replacement of global food models for alternative, regional food networks. This begs the question: how can regional/local food production (and processing) adequately address culturally-diverse tastes and preferences and socio-cultural identities? This theme calls for thinking about the relationship between food consumption practices of ethnic minority groups and local/regional food systems. Do ethnic minority groups have access to local/regional food? Are they interested in such food? How ‘appropriate’ is local food and how can it match the needs of socio-culturally diverse populations better? How can access to local/regional food be improved among ethnic minority groups? What are the meanings and understandings around access to local/regional food among different food cultures? Can local food serve as a vehicle for social integration and place-making? These are some of the questions we hope to discuss within this theme.
For many centuries, peri-urban agriculture was strongly interrelated with urban food provision, and its production capacity largely determined the expansion capacity of the city. Today, there is hardly an interrelation between the city and its regional food producers. However, many cities, led by harbingers like the signatories of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, increasingly re-consider their hinterland as a potential supplier of local food. Various city governments, such as for example Almere, promote regional production to provide considerable shares of the food needed to feed the city while at the same time their agricultural hinterlands remain predominantly oriented towards global food markets. This tension exemplifies (the debate of) planning for and supportive governance in local and regional food provision. How to plan and develop policies that are supportive in re-bridging cities and their hinterlands? What alternative planning approaches can support the transformation to agroecological urbanism? What is the actual and potential contribution of alternative food networks (including those based in urban and peri-urban agriculture) to the transition into sustainable, healthy, and socially inclusive urbanism? And to what extent can such networks feed a city in healthy, sustainable, and socially inclusive ways? How can cities enable local producers to access local and diverse markets?
In case you aim to submit a contribution that does not match the other tracks and which you deem relevant for the scope of the conference theme, we welcome this as part of a separate track. After receiving abstracts the conference organization will thematically group these open contributions.
The conference aims to be interdisciplinary and welcomes contributions from anyone who has a perspective on the above themes. Suggested keywords for abstracts include:
- Multiethnic cities
- Food consumption
- Healthy and sustainable diets
- Access to appropriate food
- Ethnic minority groups
- Food justiceFood equality
- Food insecurity
- Empowerment Diverse food routines
- Citizen engagement
- Community food pedagogies
- Living lab
- Agroecological transition
- Urban landscapes
- Land-use policies/right to land
- Alternative food networks
- Short food supply chains
- Food democracy
- Food strategy and policies
- Urban food planningo
- Urban food policies
- Urban food governance
- Urban and peri-urban agriculture
- Urban and peri-urban planning