The food environment and health in African cities
The ‘food environment’ of a city can be defined as the location and type of food sources found in an urban area, as well as the broader environmental factors that affect the production, retail and consumption of food in the city. The food environment of cities has an enormous impact on food security and on the health and wellbeing of residents, but this relationship has been under-recognised and under-studied, particularly in the global south.
Drawing on work undertaken as part of an ESRC-funded project, Consuming Urban Poverty, on governing food systems to alleviate poverty in secondary cities in Africa, as well as other work undertaken by the African Centre for Cities, this chapter explores the multi-faceted ways in which the food environment of cities can impact on human health and wellbeing. First, the chapter examines the food environments of African cities, with a focus on the built environment, highlighting the diverse range of food outlets and complex patterns of food access. Second, it explores the multi-faceted ways in which the food environment of cities can affect human health and wellbeing. Finally, the chapter discusses possibilities for how food environments that are more conducive to health and wellbeing can be created and sustained.
This chapter is included in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city, edited by Michael Keith and Andreza de Souza Santos.
The chapter can be downloaded at https://www.manchesteropenhive.com/view/9781526150943/9781526150943.00011.xml