How urbanization patterns can guide strategies for achieving adequate nutrition
This book chapter published by Springer illustrates how a better understanding of urban development and urbanization patterns can help policy makers to achieve better urban nutrition, including for the urban poor. The urban poor should be one of the key target groups since they are most vulnerable to experience consequences of inadequate or unbalanced nutrition. Urban dynamics such as city size, infrastructure (including cold chains, water and sanitation, roads and transport) and global and local supply chains play significant roles in the ability of city dwellers to access nutritious foods. Creating better connections between rural and urban areas will be a key component of improving urban nutrition security. By 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities and 90% of the urban growth between now and 2050 will take place in Africa and Asia. This urbanization speed and scale has been unprecedented, and the fastest growing cities are large and medium in size. These medium-sized cities have the potential to generate more equitable growth including for their surrounding rural areas and could help promote improved, nutritious food systems. However, if this rapid urban expansion in low- and middle-income countries is not planned right, urban expansion could exacerbate poverty, malnutrition and slum development in these countries that often already face the double burden of malnutrition.