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Hungry Cities Initiative

Project Leaders: Jonathan Crush
Project Members: Jennifer Clapp, Bruce Frayne, Andrea Brown, and Alison Blay-Palmer

Over the next 30 years, virtually all of the anticipated increase in world population will occur in cities of the Global South. By 2030, Africa’s urban population will be larger than its rural — with a projected increase of 367 million city dwellers.  Researchers, urban planners, civil society, the private sector and the international development community recognize that urban food security and sustainable city growth will be critical to the future of humanity in this “century of cities.”

This Strategic Research Initiative project, beginning in 2012, confronts the inadequate frameworks and models used to think about food security in the context of the urban transition underway in the Global South and the resulting policy challenges. Guided by the belief that national and city governments, assisted by international organizations and donors, should increasingly play a role in creating policy environments that facilitate sustainable pathways of rapid urbanization, project members will reframe the global, regional and sub-regional governance responses and formulate a new agenda for the critically important links between food security and urbanization, migration, climate change and health.  Consideration will be given to broader international processes —  global trade, international food supply chains, supermarket expansion, global food pricing and the nutrition transition — as well as specifically African processes  — hypermobility, circular migration, climate change and land grabbing.

Related Materials

Most who leave SA are economically lost to the country

Monday, June 24, 2013
Cape Times
"South Africa has to face the reality that most of those who head north cut their ties and are economically lost to the country," says Jonathan Crush, CIGI chair in global migration and development.

Hunger haunts our cities

Friday, May 17, 2013
Jane Battersby
Cape Times
In this op-ed, Jane Battersby (African Centre for Cities) comments on the urban food policy gap in South Africa. Battersby, who works on the CIGI project "Hungry Cities Initiative," writes that "food security policy and work to ensure the right to food cannot simply replicate models designed for rural areas and apply them in the cities."

Proposed law will hammer informal economy

Monday, April 15, 2013
Business Day
The new Licensing of Businesses Bill, tabled for public comment in South Africa, "is a fundamental attack on key aspects of South Africa’s vibrant and growing informal economy, which provides a livelihood for many people," says CIGI Chair in Global Migration and Development Jonathan Crush.

Role of street trader needs to be better understood

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The New Age
"The contribution that street traders make to the economies of cities and the food security needs of the poor need to be better understood by policy-makers... [Street] trading needs to be seen more as an economic development concern than an urban management issue," says Jonathan Crush, CIGI Chair in Global Migration and Development.

Failure of the food market means many in our city go hungry

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Jonathan Crush and Jane Battersby-Lennard
Cape Times
In an op-ed to the Cape Times, Jonathan Crush, CIGI chair in global migration and development, and Jane Battersby-Lennard look at food price increases in South Africa. They argue that "[Cape Town] urgently needs to develop a food security strategy that goes beyond a focus on production."
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