Looking at cities through food: Consuming Urban Poverty

As Carolyn Steel made clear, “In order to understand cities properly, we need to look at them through food.” While food systems have been studied in primary cities, there is far less understanding about governance of food systems in secondary cities in Africa and the relation to urban poverty.

The African Centre for Cities is embarking on a three-year research project, Consuming Urban Poverty, which focuses on governing food systems to alleviate poverty in three cities: Kitwe, in Zambia, Epworth, in Zimbabwe, and Kisumu in Kenya. The project argues that important contributions to debates on urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa, the nature of urban poverty, and the relationship between governance, poverty and the spatial characteristics of cities and towns in the region can be made through a focus on urban food systems and the dynamics of urban food poverty.

In this video, the project’s research coordinator Jane Battersby and research lead Gareth Haysom, both at the ACC, discuss the aims, focus and dynamics of the research.


Professor Danie Visser, deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Cape Town, discusses the project in this video.

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