Research Topic

Building Sustainable City Region Food Systems to Increase Resilience and Cope with Crises

About this Research Topic

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has impacted societies, reaching from overwhelmed healthcare systems and tremendous economic impacts to deep-rooted changes in the production, distribution, and consumption of food. As the crisis came unexpected, it has unveiled the fragility of the food system, in particular ...

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has impacted societies, reaching from overwhelmed healthcare systems and tremendous economic impacts to deep-rooted changes in the production, distribution, and consumption of food. As the crisis came unexpected, it has unveiled the fragility of the food system, in particular when it comes to globalized food supply chains. In the coming years, the combined effect of climate change, increasing population, and resource scarcity will likely pose further risks to food systems resilience and sustainability. Food systems will be stressed at different levels:
• production and processing- due to the dependency on migrant workers for harvesting activities, scattered and unpredictable meteorological events, limitation of transport lines, and a generalized closing of borders
• distribution- due to modified customer relationships and the logistical organization of sales channels
• consumption, due to the sense of uncertainty over food access, stronger bonds with the origin of food, higher attention to the selection of ingredients, and recipe scouting

At the same time, the ongoing crisis has shown how crucial resilient food systems are. Over the last decades, a trend of re-regionalization of food supply chains is emerging, which gains its novelty from regional marketing and business models and the co-development of local food policies. Building on the current crisis, these emerging approaches gain new significance and relevance in the public discussion.

Contributions will discuss key responses and adaptations to external shocks, as well as new concepts, theory, behavior, habits, and technical and social innovations, toward the comprehension of key elements that ensure sustainable and resilient City Region Food Systems. To ensure food access and availability, a range of complex, spatially heterogeneous, control solutions and strategies have been developed. Submitted manuscripts should be focusing on fundamental and applied research aimed at designing, understanding, and promoting sustainable and resilient urban food systems.

Food provision and (self)-sufficiency
• The contribution of urban agriculture to food and nutrition security
• Sustainability assessment of City Region Food Systems
• Innovative and resilient technologies for food production
• The role of Alternative Food Networks and conventional retailing systems
• Citizen-driven Food Systems innovation
• Development of innovations and their eventual long-term durability
• The role of regionalized food supply chains
• Changes in food demands and responses in the supply chains
• Innovative business models
• The impact of COVID-19 on employment in the food sector

Society and Psychology
• The psychology, habits, and behaviors of consumers.
• The emergence of new value systems and principles
• Lessons learned from social management towards future sustainable urban food systems
• The role of digital tools on connecting citizens and food systems

Food policy and Governance
• Converging approaches of food systems and Farm-to-Fork Strategy
• Driving forces and barriers towards adapting new policies
• Changing relationships and responsibilities within food system governance
• Barriers and potentials of ‘new’ governance models within ‘old’ administrative and institutional structures
• Public actions developed by local governments for the food insecure population
• Urban green spaces and food system nutritional and agroecological transitions


Dirk Wascher is the director of SUSMETRO, a consultancy company in the field of sustainable food. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Re-regionalisation of food systems, Urban agriculture, City-region food systems, Short food supply chains, Citizen driven innovation, Innovative business models, Public procurement, Food system governance and policy


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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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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