Localizing urban food practices: the politics of scale

Charlotte Prové, Joost Dessein, Michaël De Krom

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePublished abstract


    Local food councils are emerging worldwide as a strategy to counter the global, industrialized food system and increase urban regions' capacity to steer towards sustainability. Academic literature posits that local food councils contribute to more democratic, just and sustainable food practices through multi-stakeholder collaborations, sharing and building of knowledge, and shifting power to the local level. However, insight is lacking into the politics of localizing food systems and in which ways they challenge existing structures and interests. By this we mean that the way 'local' is framed and negotiated, is the result of a politics of scale. We present an empirical case study of politics and framing in local food councils in Ghent (Belgium) and Philadelphia (USA) and the implications for urban food practices such as urban agriculture. Results show that attention for the social construction of scale in localizing food systems is instructive to identify inclusionary/exclusionary dynamics and power struggles in the governance of urban agriculture practices. These insights are essential for understanding particular pathways in sustainability thinking and their implications for environmental justice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - Aug-2016
    EventRoyal Geographic Society: Annual International Conference 2016: Nexus Thinking - RGS-IBG, Londen, United Kingdom
    Duration: 31-Aug-20162-Sep-2016


    ConferenceRoyal Geographic Society: Annual International Conference 2016
    Abbreviated titleRGS Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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