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KULeuvenX: Urban Food Systems

Learn which factors shape food systems in the context of urban growth and land-use patterns. You will learn about food accessibility, food choice, foodsheds, food safety, urban agriculture, urban food governance and more.

5 weeks
5–6 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Apr 12
Ends Jun 9

About this course

Skip About this course

Food is crucial to life. However, due to extreme climate change and rapidly rising populations, secure food access is not always guaranteed.

This course will teach you about food systems and their core concepts, in relation to urban growth and land-use patterns.

Key topics include spatial, social and economic accessibility, food choice and foodsheds. Additionally, these concepts are linked to city governance dynamics to help you understand stakeholder involvement and urban food policy making.

Putting theory to practice, these concepts will be connected to African city case studies, giving you a deep understanding of what shapes food systems in African cities.

At a glance

  • Institution: KULeuvenX
  • Subject: Environmental Studies
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    Basic understanding of geography, social sciences and economics.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Understand the core concepts of a food system in the context of urban growth and land-use configurations and apply them to other contexts
  • Understand urban food value chains and create your own food value chain chart
  • Define the vulnerabilities and opportunities of urban food value chains
  • Explain the three dimensions of food access: spatial, social and economic accessibility
  • Evaluate the vulnerability and sustainability of the food system through the concept of foodsheds
  • Understand dietary choices, the double burden of malnutrition and obesity
  • Define and distinguish food security and dietary diversity, and identify target foods
  • Understand and analyse urban food governance and develop a stakeholder map for an urban food system, inclusive of key governance activities
  • Understand and analyse the governance dynamics regarding (peri)urban agriculture, food retail, food safety and infrastructure

Week 1: Basic Urban Food System Concepts
Introduction to basic urban food system concepts, and the context of urban growth and land-configurations.

Week 2: From Farm to Fork
Understanding food value chains, including urbanization impacts, vulnerabilities and opportunities.

Week 3: Food Accessibility
Considering the different dimension of food accessibility through spatial, social, economic accessibility and foodsheds.

Week 4: Food Choice
Understanding dietary choices in relation to the double burden of malnutrition, food security and dietary diversity.

Week 5: Urban Food Governance
Understanding and analyzing urban food governance, considering the stakeholder map and key governance activities, next to (peri)urban agriculture, food retail, food safety and infrastructure.

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