Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 19–43 | Cite as

Resilient food systems: a qualitative tool for measuring food resilience

  • Attila TothEmail author
  • Stacy Rendall
  • Femke Reitsma


This paper is dedicated to the topic of food resilience in the context of urban environments and aims at developing a qualitative tool for measuring it. The emphasis is laid on urban food security with a significant global relevance due to the interconnectedness of our urban and global food systems. We argue that food and agriculture have to be understood as integral components of contemporary urban and peri-urban landscapes as urban agriculture supports in many cases also ecosystems, biodiversity, urban ecology and urban landscape architecture. The topic is introduced through contemporary urban food system models and definitions followed by characteristics of a resilient urban food system, including consumer, producer, food processing, distribution and market resilience. Based on the review of food system models and assessment tools, a new food system model for resilience analysis has been developed. This is then applied to worked examples and further developed on the Christchurch case study, where the tool is applied to existing intra-urban and peri-urban landscape components of Christchurch, New Zealand.


Food resilience Food system model Urban agriculture Urban food system Urban landscapes 



The research has been supported by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology in Brussels within the action TD1106 Urban Agriculture Europe.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Garden and Landscape ArchitectureSlovak University of Agriculture in NitraNitraSlovakia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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