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WageningenX: Food and Nutrition Security in Urbanising Landscapes

Our landscapes are urbanizing, which has a serious impact on food and nutrition. Learn to look beyond the sectoral and administrative boundaries of your work and see how the rural and the urban connect around food. Look at your landscape from a spatial and integrated food systems perspective to identify key counterparts with whom to collaborate and break the rural-urban divide. Join Wageningen University & Research and start creating food and nutrition security (“FNS”) in your landscape. Enroll now!

Food and Nutrition Security in Urbanising Landscapes
4 weeks
3–4 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 Nov 19

About this course

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Food and nutrition insecurity in an urban izing world
Our landscapes are changing. As towns and megacities expand, they increasingly place claim on limited natural resources, such as water and land. In turn, this competition for resources places rural areas under pressure, further aggravated by climate change and rural-urban migration. Yet, these areas are essential for producing food for a growing population. These changes in the landscape have a serious impact on food and nutrition.

Overnutrition is on the rise in one part of the landscape, resulting in lifestyle related diseases, such as obesity, type II diabetes and heart disease. At the same time undernutrition persist in other areas, causing a.o. increased mortality and poor childhood development. While some consumers are stuck in food deserts, with limited to no access to fresh produce, producers may have difficulty finding profitable markets. City governments and urban planners can play a key role in addressing these issues by putting food on the urban agenda, yet many cities lack a food agenda.

Strengthen rural-urban linkages in your landscape
Although urban, peri-urban and rural parts of the landscape are inextricably linked, urban development and rural development often occur in isolation of one another. In this course, co-produced with the Global Landscapes Forum and the UN Environment Program, you will learn to look beyond the boundaries of your personal expertise and geographic location. Taking on an integrated spatial and food systems perspective opens up possibilities to bring about structural change.

You will become acquainted with a variety of tools to analyze food and nutrition issues and their relation to your rural-urban landscape, which can help you to:

  • Raise awareness on the importance of a systems approach to FNS in your landscape
  • Think of ways to strengthen or create structural collaboration between rural and urban stakeholders
  • Jointly work towards FNS

You will bring your learnings together in a compelling story to mobilize key stakeholders in your rural-urban landscape. You will also explore your role to contribute to breaking the rural-urban divide.

For whom?
So, whether you are a researcher, an advisor working for an international NGO or multilateral agency (f.e. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)), a nutrition officer or an urban planner, a member of a farmer’s association or a policy maker, join this course – created in collaboration between GLF, WUR and UNEP – and start addressing food and nutrition insecurity in your urbanizing landscape.

Course created with support from

Global Landscapes ForumUN Environment ProgrammeMinistry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands

At a glance

  • Institution: WageningenX
  • Subject: Food & Nutrition
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    A BA/BSc or higher-level certificate in financial/business/economic fields or social sciences, a minimum of one year's academic or professional engagement in landscapes or development finance.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills:Systems Thinking, Rural Development, Agriculture, Child Development, Geographic Coordinate Systems, Research, Landscaping, Diabetes Mellitus

What you'll learn

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  • Key concepts and issues around food and nutrition in urbanizing landscapes
  • The role of rural-urban dynamics and how they manifest in the landscape
  • A variety of tools for a basic analysis of a city region food system
  • Inspiration for advanced tools for city region food system analysis
  • Guiding principles for good landscape governance and the role of food policy within
  • The importance rural-urban collaboration to achieve food and nutrition secure landscapes
  • Identify leverage entry points for sustainable change
  • How to mobilize key stakeholders towards a common vision
  • What your role as landscape professional can be to contribute to food and nutrition security in your urbanizing landscape

1. Setting the Scene

In this module you will learn how our urbanizing landscapes are impacting food and nutrition security for those in the landscape. You will get acquainted with the key concepts of this course, work with different tools to kick-start your own landscape case, and meet other professionals who are taking the course.

2. Your City Region Food System

In this module you will start looking at your landscape and the main food and nutrition security issues from a systems perspective. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and take on different perspectives to enrich your understanding of your own rural-urban landscape and what factors underpin food insecurity. You will do a treasure hunt to collect all information you need in this journey.

3. Mobilizing others

In this module you will learn more about governance of a city region food system, what this means and who to engage. You will see how different stakeholders can work towards food and nutrition security in their landscape and the role of policy. You will identify champions in your own landscape, and look for windows of opportunity for change.

4. Planting a Seed of Change

In this last module, you will bring your learnings together in a compelling story – a manifesto – to mobilize stakeholders in your landscape and to connect the rural and the urban. You will also reflect on your own role as landscape professional and what actions you can take within your own sphere of influence.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have questions about the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and/or related online programmes of Wageningen University & Research? To help you find answers to your questions, we created a list with frequently asked questions about enrolling, participating in- and finishing a MOOC.

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