Urban food systems

Two thirds of the global population will be living in cities by 2050. As cities grow, urban food demand has a huge impact on rural areas and agricultural supply chains. While urbanization presents opportunities for rural producers, many — especially smallholders in less developed countries — lack the resilience, resources, knowledge and infrastructure to access new markets. Building sustainable food systems will be increasingly dependent on actions taken at the city level to address these challenges and ensure access to decent food, mitigate climate change and combat obesity.

In 2017, IPES-Food released a series of case studies of urban food policies, exploring how ambitious urban food transitions have evolved and gained the support of policymakers. IPES-Food continues to explore the role of cities in the food systems of the future.


All publications

What makes urban food policy happen? Insights from five case studies

Through a series of five case studies, this report provides insights into the factors that enable the development and delivery of urban food policies, how these enablers can be harnessed, and how barriers can be overcome. 

Read the full report (EN)
Read the executive summary (EN)

July 2019

Participative Urban Farming: Report of field visit to a farm collective in Brussels

IPES-Food Panel Member Bina Agarwal reports on a field visit to a collective farm in the heart of the garden city of Le Logis-Floreal in Brussels. 

May 2017

What makes urban food policy happen? Ingredients for change

Former IPES-Food panel member, Professor Corinna Hawkes and Dr Jess Halliday, consultant and researcher present strategies to implement urban food policies during the Food 2030 workshop "Cities for Food Systems Innovation and Green Jobs".

October 2016

Urban food policies and their role in sustainable food systems

Event Summary for IPES-Food side event at CFS 43 co-organized with IPES-Food, UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems (Montpellier), Ivory Coast, FAO, IUFN. This side event explored governance and implementation of sub-national food policies. It identified how national and international framing can support local level policy, magnify the effects, and assure its longevity.


All media
July 2017

What Makes Urban Food Policy Happen? An Interview with Corinna Hawkes

CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute


All infographics
June 2017

Multiple entry points for food policy

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June 2017

Smasan's six food and nutrition security workstreams

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June 2017

Brazil's multi-level food governance

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June 2017

Amsterdam's marathon model towards healthy weight

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June 2017

Availability of public land in Detroit

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