News & Events

Harnessing urban food systems for sustainable development and human well-being

New Report out of Italy focuses on harnessing urban food systems with a focus on alleviating poverty in Africa.

Read the full report here: Bellagio Communique- Harnessing urban food systems for sustainable development and human well-being

This meeting was convened at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy) from 14- 16th March 2017 by the ESRC/DFID-funded research project Governing Food Systems to Alleviate Poverty in Secondary Cities in Africa Project (Consuming Urban Poverty) at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the potential impact of the research findings of this project on ongoing consultation and implementation of Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030, and the New Urban Agenda, which emphasize the fundamental role that urban food systems play in achieving sustainable cities, along with health, income, jobs and inclusive growth. The meeting included experts from a number of organizations and agencies who concluded that there are severe problems of urban food and nutrition insecurity and inequality around the world, but most particularly in developing countries undergoing rapid urban transitions. Food, as a major expenditure of urban poor in Africa,

Continue reading “Harnessing urban food systems for sustainable development and human well-being”

A How-To Manual For Growing A Community

Port Grocer Cafe, Port Medway, Nova Scotia

By Linda Best

Please note: This article appears in the Winter 2016/17 issue of the Slow Money Journal and was republished on Resilience in March 2017.

In the small township of Port Medway on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Annabelle Singleton and Debra Melanson, their husbands, and their staff have made The Port Grocer into the heart of the community.

Port Medway was settled around 1760 by fishermen who helped develop this area into a thriving shipping community. Cargoes of salted and dried fish were shipped to the United States, the Caribbean, and South America. Lumber from the sawmills of Greenfield, Charleston, and Mill Village were loaded on ships and sailed to foreign ports.

Although it’s still a working port, as is the way of many villages, population decreased over time and elements essential to vibrant community expired.

But that sense of community has been revived in this beautiful seaside village. The 200 full-time and 100 summer residents support a writers’ festival, art shows, history exhibits, and restoration of the 1832 “meeting house” and a cemetery dating back to the late 1700s.

So there was fertile ground for Annabelle and Deb to envision turning the general store and post office—which had long been for sale—into a space for the whole community.

Continue reading “A How-To Manual For Growing A Community”

FLEdGE Digital Stories

Now in our Resources and Results section!

In the fall of 2016, FLEdGE partners from across Canada attended a digital storytelling workshop facilitated by REDLAB. Their short, recorded stories detail the challenges, surprises, and successes of working with food around the world.

You can now find four stories created by FLEdGE associates Erin Nelson, Theresa Schumilas, Jennifer Marshman, and Laine Young, in the Resources and Results section of the FLEdGE website. Together, these stories provide a rich snapshot of some of important work happening through the FLEdGE research partnership and provide personal accounts of the impacts of sustainable food systems research on students, researchers, communities, and food systems.

You can watch their stories here: FLEdGE Digital Stories

Cardiff University is recruiting for MSc In Food, Space, and Society


This exciting Masters programme offers in-depth insights into:

  • the opportunities for (and barriers to) food security, sustainability and justice;
  • the implications of food policies on spatial and socio-economic relationships between different actors in the food system and between rural and urban areas; and
  • the development effects of strategies that address the welfare and health needs of the human and animal population.

Continue reading “Cardiff University is recruiting for MSc In Food, Space, and Society”

Winds of change, or more of the same? Urbanization and rural transformation in the context of emerging global initiatives

By Alison Blay-Palmer
Originally published on on March 1st, 2017.



I offer the following comments as a new observer of the CFS process. I attended CFS 42 (2015) and then 43 (2016), and participate in the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) meetings for the SDGs and Urban and Rural Transformation.

The food spaces within and between rural and urban communities are simultaneously interconnected and contested in part due to increasing distances between smallholder producers who provide most of the world’s food, and urban eaters who are now in the majority and increasing in numbers.

Continue reading “Winds of change, or more of the same? Urbanization and rural transformation in the context of emerging global initiatives”

Wellington Water Watchers: The important work of citizen groundwater advocacy

It’s World Water Day, and organizations from all over the world are celebrating water as a fundamental human right. In Southern Ontario, Wellington Water Watchers, a non-profit volunteer organization, has been educating the public about water issues, engaging in constructive water policy discussions, and advocating for public water interests since 2007. Continue reading “Wellington Water Watchers: The important work of citizen groundwater advocacy”