City and Regional Food Systems – Call for Papers

Samina Raja and Kevin Morgan
27 Oct 2016

Disciplines dealing with the built environment, including urban planners, landscape architects, and urban designers, are reconsidering the role of their disciplines in urban food systems. By urban food systems we mean the soil-to-soil system that enables food to travel from source to plate in cities. Urban food systems involve a variety of actors that engage in diverse foot-related practices including the growing, processing, distribution, and acquisition and preparation of food, and management of food-related waste. These practices unfold within the built environment of cities, and are inextricably linked to the work of planning and design professions (table 1). And, indeed, urban planning and design professionals are engaged in a variety of efforts to strengthen urban food systems. A recent survey of members of the American Planning Association, the largest professional association of planners in the Unites States, found that planning for urban agriculture was one of the top ways in which city governments are engaging in the food system.

Table 1: Spaces and Built Structures where Urban Food Practices Unfold (Raja & Whittaker)

While this growing attention to food systems by planners and designers is critical, the theoretical frameworks, strategies, and tools for doing so remain unclear and contested. Scholars and practitioners are especially concerned about how the growing engagement of the planning and design disciplines reinforce, exacerbate, or subvert inequities within food systems.

Against this backdrop, we will be guest editing an issue of Built Environment on City and Regional Food Systems: Planning and Design for Equity, Justice and Power. The issue will address, “how the growing engagement of the planning and design disciplines within city and regional food systems subverts, reinforces, or exacerbates inequities and injustices”. The guest editors invite submissions from scholars from across the Global South and Global North to submit articles that focus on food systems at varying scales and address:

  • Concerns about inequities and injustices, including food, health, social, and economic inequities
  • The interplay between city and regional food systems and the built environment
  • Systemic and spatial exploration of city and regional food systems
  • Concerns about those most marginalized stakeholders in the food system, including low-income populations, people of color, marginalized workers in the food system, and/or refugees and migrants
  • Ideas for change, including planning, policy, and design solutions

A Best Paper Prize will be awarded for an early career scholar who submits an accepted paper.

Authors are invited to submit an abstract by November 14, 2016. For more details on the special issue, please review the full announcement.

Questions about content of the special issue should be directed to Samina Raja at [email protected]. Questions about the submission process should be directed to Enjoli Hall at [email protected].


As ever we welcome further Built Environment blogs & tweets on this theme!    

Images souce: Stephen Marshall & Lucy Natarajan