Is food security and nutrition becoming an urban challenge? Data suggests that this is indeed the case. As urban centres in low and middle-income nations grow rapidly, inadequate housing, basic infrastructure and services affect a large and growing proportion of their population. There is also growing evidence of how urban poverty is affected by environmental hazards. There is, however, scant knowledge of how these challenges affect the ways in which poor urban residents gain access to affordable food and secure healthy and nutritious diets. Urban consumers are typically treated as a homogenous group and access to food markets is assumed to be sufficient. This talk will tease out how our current understanding of urban poverty helps highlight the income and non-income dimensions of food insecurity and malnutrition among urban residents, and what this means for policy.
About the speaker
Cecilia Tacoli holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is Head of the Human Settlements Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London. She has over 20 years’ experience of work on environment and development in collaboration with partners in the Global South. Her main areas of interest are urban poverty and urban food (in)security; rural-urban linkages; and migration and climate change. Her publications include the Earthscan Reader In Urban-Rural Linkages (Routledge); Population Dynamics and Climate Change (UNFPA); Migration, Urbanization and Changing Gender Relations in the South (in Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South); and Food (In)Security in Rapidly Urbanising, Low-Income Contexts (in International Journal of Environmental research and Public Health). She is currently leading an ESRC-funded Project on How the Urban Poor Define and Measure Food Insecurity and Nutrition in collaboration with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights. She was a lead/collaborating author for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and is regularly invited to participate in expert group meetings of UN agencies.