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City–Region Food Systems: Scenarios to re-establish urban-rural links through sustainable food provisioning

Conference contribution
Authors Gunilla Almered Olsson
Anders Burman
Mirek Dymitrow
John Armbrecht
Chiara Rinaldi
Anders Nilsson
Björn Ohlén
Karin Ingelhag
Kristina Fermskog
Published in Tomorrow’s Food Travel (TFT) conference, Centre for Tourism – University of Gothenburg, 8–10 October 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Centre for Tourism
Department of Business Administration, Marketing Group
School of Global Studies, Human Ecology
Mistra Urban Futures
Language en
Keywords urban food systems, Sustainable Development Goals, food security, urban–rural, sustainability transitions
Subject categories Food Science, Human Geography, Ethnography, Human ecology, Public Administration Studies, Economic Geography, Social Anthropology


City–Region Food Systems (CRFS) is a cutting-edge concept and an emerging field of research. As a new analytical lens, it offers an integrated and multi-dimensional perspective on food’s origins, how it is grown and the path it follows to our plates and beyond. Building on this concept, this presentation reflects a prospective research project which seeks to explore opportunities for innovative and sustainable food systems in the Gothenburg region of Sweden by focusing on how rural and urban regions, food production and market can be integrated to promote regional food security. The project intends to: 1) develop scenarios with stakeholders for local food production in the region; 2) analyze the consequences of the scenarios on landscape change and biodiversity; 3) explore socio-economic consequences for producers and local communities; and 4) evaluate the sustainability and feasibility of scenarios with stakeholders. Five municipalities in Western Sweden (Gothenburg, Kungälv, Lerum, Alingsås and Essunga) will serve as study areas for the project, selected to reflect different kinds of potential for local food production in terms of dissimilar environmental conditions, prerequisites for farming and economic histories. The project responds to expressed interests and knowledge needs in the region and will be developed and implemented in direct cooperation with local and regional actors such as Västarvet, the Västra Götaland Region, the municipalities and various producer organizations. In sum, there are premises suggesting that recent urban food strategies and plans with sustainability ambitions are embracing several Sustainable Development Goals in the environmental, social, economic, and equity dimensions. This, in turn, is a characteristic of the Transition Movements pathway, in which the utility of food strategies in the work with sustainability transitions seems inevitable. The results are therefore likely to be transferable to other regions.

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