【FOCUS】Food Supply and Security
Food supply has always been an issue throughout the process of urbanization. Today, we will focus on the theme of "Food Supply" and share innovative governance solutions from five cities.
Because of intersecting issues such as growing populations, migration, unemployment, areas of multiple deprivations associated with the highest morbidity and mortality, reduced public sector budgets and a rise in noncommunicable diseases including diabetes and obesity, a new effective approach to policy-making is needed. Obesity is a prominent issue among the population of Birmingham, with recent studies showing that one in four children is obese by the time he/she leaves primary school. The Birmingham Childhood Obesity Partnership is leading a coordinated effort to impact childhood obesity at all levels, including policy change, partnerships, communications as well as specific interventions.
Until July 2013, the local City Council did not have an Agriculture Department at the time and farming practices were regulated using prohibitive city regulations. The City Inspectorate and the Planning Departments were then still using the municipal by-laws to inhibit farming activities in certain areas, limiting the activity of urban farmers. In response to the situation, the Nairobi City County developed the Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Act , providing a comprehensive regulatory framework in support of urban agriculture.
Approximately 8 - 10 percent of the adult population within the City of Melbourne experience challenges in accessing enough food for a healthy life. The challenges faced by those vulnerable groups in accessing sufficient food may worsen over time as natural resource constraints and climate stresses affect our food supply, leading to increases in the cost of food along with other essential household costs. In the monitoring report of 2016, the Food Policy Advisory Group underlined how the City of Melbourne implemented an effective policy approach that has the flexibility to make connections between policy areas that are typically addressed separately, but that need to be considered together in order to strengthen the city’s food security. These measures are key elements to plan a resilient food system.
Shanghai is China’s largest city, with a population of over 24 million in 2014. Over the last few decades Shanghai’s food supply has been secured, while concerns over food safety have increased. Meanwhile, the low overall scale of China’s food production and operation enterprises, comprising mainly small and medium-sized enterprises with relatively weak awareness of compliance, represent a challenge to the entire food system. For this reason, in February 2013, Shanghai established a new set of regulations, introducing a credit system, with the aim of strengthening the supervision of food production and safety and urging the enterprises to carry out self-responsibilities.
Toronto, along with cities all over the world, faces numerous health, social and environmental problems related to food. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in international migrations combined with the difficulty of guaranteeing jobs to the newcomers. Community Food Works for Newcomer Settlement is an innovative approach to delivering core public health services through an integrated model. Using food as a vehicle for refugee and immigrant settlement and adaptation can support newcomers. Using food to bring people together in a supported environment can also break down social isolation, promote health, build employment, and incubate entrepreneurial potential.
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