Feeding Cities: Ethical and Policy Issues in Urban Food Systems

Country: USA

City: Boston

Abstr. due: 15.12.2014

Dates: 27.03.15 — 28.03.15

Area Of Sciences: Law; Medicine;

Organizing comittee e-mail: c.bosso@neu.edu

Organizers: Northeastern University


Food defines cultures, is at the heart of religious and ethnic traditions, is central to familial and social gatherings, gives us joy (and sometimes pain), and shapes the rhythms of daily life. Of course, food is also about survival. Societies thrive – or collapse – based on ready, reliable, and equitable access to food. There is currently rising demand for food due to population growth and spreading affluence, as well as increasing production and distribution challenges, such as water and land scarcity, climate change, depletion in seafood stocks, and dependency on global food chains. All of this takes place amidst accelerating urbanization; over half the world’s population now lives in cities. Together these trends make studying urban food systems - and developing practices and policies for improving them - crucial to building socially just and ecologically sustainable societies.

his workshop aims to foster cross-disciplinary inquiry on topics relevant to urban food system sustainability, health, and equity. We invite abstracts of no more than 750 words from researchers working on social, ecological, political and ethical issues associated with urban food systems. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

·         Whether local or global food systems are better positioned to promote food availability, food security, resilience and food justice in cities

·         Opportunities and limits of urban agriculture and community-based food systems

·         Relationship between urban food systems and other urban issues, such as affordable housing, land use and environmental justice

·         Evaluation of particular technological and system innovations within urban food systems, with respect to such things as increasing food production, improving tracking/monitoring, promoting food access, and reducing wastage and improving waste management

·         Historical perspectives on food systems and cities

·         Strategies for developing climate change resilience within urban food systems

·         Studies of the structure and efficacy of alternative food advocacy groups or movements, as well as assessment of concerns raised regarding them

·         Whether the concept of ‘food miles’ is useful and, if so, for what end or in what contexts

·         Studies of the economics of urban food systems

·         The role of cultural identify in urban food practices and the construction of urban food systems

·         Issues related to food system workers, particularly in urban contexts

·         Evaluation of food security programs in cities – federal, state, local and non-governmental

·         The extent to which cities ought to be able to regulate foods to promote public health

·         Challenges of democratic governance related to urban food system

Conference Web-Site: http://www.northeastern.edu/foodsystems/