Research Topic

Converging Communities of Practice – Method & Concept Developments in Regional Eco-Agro-Food Systems

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About this Research Topic

The spirit of this special collection, driven by the pursuit of a sustainable food system theory, is to convey and explore converging scientific narratives of conceptual and methodological innovation in sustainable food system debates. Since the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, a good part of the food system discourse has focused on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to what degree food system transformations can help to accomplish these goals. Various innovative approaches have emerged, which all share a holistic focus on food system transformation and have in common their consideration of the (city) regional scale as well as transitions towards agroecology, promising pathways for food system sustainability. While these different conceptual and methodological approaches have frequently emerged in different scientific and policy areas, there are also many convergences and synergies that deserve to be further explored and developed.

The editorial committee for this collection of papers, consisting of Henk Renting, Prof. Dr. Carola Strassner and Prof. Dr. Barbara Burlingame wish to compile scientific contributions in the form of original research, review, and opinion that can shed light on the complex web of drivers, relations and emerging outcomes of food system innovation. Examples for potential contributions include, but are not limited to, conceptual models of sustainable food systems, developments around food system monitoring and evaluation, effective food system governance mechanisms, methods for total food system cost accounting, sustainable diets, foodshed definitions or food sovereignty concepts. Equally welcome are contributions pertaining to documentation methods of food systems and newly sprouting networks such as City Region Food System, ALGOA (Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture), or the MUFPP (Milan Urban Food Policy Pact) as well as Bio-Distretti or Bio-regions as developed in the Organic City Network Europe.

While this may seem like an eclectically broad theme, it is our shared conviction that further investigation might reveal patterns of converging communities of practice that speak to similar concerns and sensitivities of scientific and societal actors engaged in sustainable food systems around the planet. Against this background, our special collection aims to capture a diversity of approaches in understanding, measuring and analyzing food systems, actors and components across their temporal and spatial manifestations, and contribute to enhancing our common scientific understanding of food system sustainability.


Keywords: Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Development Goals, Agroecology, Methodology, Food System Monitoring, Governance Mechanisms


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The spirit of this special collection, driven by the pursuit of a sustainable food system theory, is to convey and explore converging scientific narratives of conceptual and methodological innovation in sustainable food system debates. Since the establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, a good part of the food system discourse has focused on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to what degree food system transformations can help to accomplish these goals. Various innovative approaches have emerged, which all share a holistic focus on food system transformation and have in common their consideration of the (city) regional scale as well as transitions towards agroecology, promising pathways for food system sustainability. While these different conceptual and methodological approaches have frequently emerged in different scientific and policy areas, there are also many convergences and synergies that deserve to be further explored and developed.

The editorial committee for this collection of papers, consisting of Henk Renting, Prof. Dr. Carola Strassner and Prof. Dr. Barbara Burlingame wish to compile scientific contributions in the form of original research, review, and opinion that can shed light on the complex web of drivers, relations and emerging outcomes of food system innovation. Examples for potential contributions include, but are not limited to, conceptual models of sustainable food systems, developments around food system monitoring and evaluation, effective food system governance mechanisms, methods for total food system cost accounting, sustainable diets, foodshed definitions or food sovereignty concepts. Equally welcome are contributions pertaining to documentation methods of food systems and newly sprouting networks such as City Region Food System, ALGOA (Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture), or the MUFPP (Milan Urban Food Policy Pact) as well as Bio-Distretti or Bio-regions as developed in the Organic City Network Europe.

While this may seem like an eclectically broad theme, it is our shared conviction that further investigation might reveal patterns of converging communities of practice that speak to similar concerns and sensitivities of scientific and societal actors engaged in sustainable food systems around the planet. Against this background, our special collection aims to capture a diversity of approaches in understanding, measuring and analyzing food systems, actors and components across their temporal and spatial manifestations, and contribute to enhancing our common scientific understanding of food system sustainability.


Keywords: Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainable Development Goals, Agroecology, Methodology, Food System Monitoring, Governance Mechanisms


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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