Everyday African Urbanism: Food Lab

Everyday African Urbanism is a conceptual framework that filters out the macro picture of city life and instead focuses on the micro-spaces of everyday engagement and interaction.

To re-imagine and re-define the meaning of urban life and plot a different future/s, we have to first understand what is actually going on through the practices of the people who live there. The Africa Centre has applied this framework to its initial intervention: The Food Security Lab.
To date, The Food Security Lab has comprised 16 months of research within a community called Kanana in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa. The research focused on how people living within households that generally earn a monthly income of R4,000 or less manage their food requirements. It examined: why they purchase the food they do; where they shop and how often; beyond resource constraints, what influences their food purchasing choices; at what income level is it possible to secure a high quality regular diet; and what are the environmental, social and psychological factors that may prevent a strategic approach to food purchases and consumption?

At the centre of this research was an exploration of how the local/immediate food suppliers (spaza shops, street vendors, informal cooking facilities) contribute to the food ecosystem. As such, the Lab also included an in depth review of the spaza shops in particular, the stock they carry and why, their supply chains and a range of consumer behaviour within the shops.

Full report: download.

Photo credit: Yasser Booley (Everyday African Urbanism’s Food: Lab report)


Publication Type Report
Publisher Africa Centre
Year 2015
Author(s) Tanner Methvin, Etai Even-Zahav
Editor(s) Tambudzai Ndlovu
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