Cities, planning and urban food poverty in Africa
This chapter (PDF) of The Routledge Companion to Planning in the Global South argues that there is a new role for urban planning (which in the African context takes the form of municipal spatial and land use planning) as a discipline to meet the food and nutrition security challenges facing African cities. Food insecurity has not historically been considered an urban planning issue. However, as the locus of food insecurity shifts towards the urban in Africa there is a need to consider what role planners may play in alleviating the problem through food system planning. This chapter argues that because of dominant discourses on food security and the ideal African city, planners have had unintended impacts on the food system, which have generated conditions that exacerbate food insecurity. This argument is illustrated through drawing on cases of urban agriculture, maize milling and food retail in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia. There are many direct food system interventions available to planners, however, there is a wider need for food to be considered in non-food planning decisions which affect the food system. In order to achieve this, planners need to consider how households actually access and utilize food and develop planning responses that acknowledge these realities.