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.