Investment priorities for research and innovation in urban agri-food systems: Toward more resilient cities in the Global South

Gordon Prain, David Simon, Jess Halliday, Pay Drechsel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) is widely distributed throughout
the Global South. Despite urban population growth and diversifying food
habits, UPA delivers an important part of urban food supply, as well as
other types of services to cities, such as employment and waste reuse.
Nevertheless, the extent and importance of UPA varies between di􀀀erent
urban areas, while challenges like limited recognition, land conversion, and
water pollution and competition threaten the potential of UPA to contribute
to urban resilience. Key investment priorities for research and innovation
for overcoming current challenges include incentivized peri-urban zoning,
urban allocation of productive lands, and increasing capacities for controlled
environment agriculture (CEA). Innovative repositioning of foodmarketing can
help to strengthen supply of healthy food from UPA production, increase
decent employment, and turn food markets into nutrition hubs. Priority
innovations for contributing to the circular bioeconomy of cities include
scaling the safe use of wastewater for irrigation through investments in
the adoption of multiple risk-barrier approaches and scaling UPA-based
ecosystemservices for valorising solid waste and environmentalmanagement.
Innovations in urban governance are required to support these processes by
bringing food systems into urban planning through food mapping and the
multisectoral platforms for dialogue and policy formulation across city regions
and with vertical levels of government.
Original languageEnglish
Article number965011
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2022

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