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Palgrave Macmillan

Transforming Urban Food Systems in Secondary Cities in Africa

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  • Open Access
  • © 2023

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  • Addresses the challenge of building inclusive and sustainable cities in the context of rapid urbanization
  • Examines implications of secondary urbanization as it poses governance challenges for policy-makers
  • Discusses implications for food security of rapidly growing secondary cities in Africa
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.

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Table of contents (19 chapters)


About this book

Countries across Africa are rapidly transitioning from rural to urban societies. The UN projects that 60% of people living in Africa will be in urban areas by 2050, with the urban population on the continent tripling over the next 50 years. The challenge of building inclusive and sustainable cities in the context of rapid urbanization is arguably the critical development issue of the 21st Century and creating food secure cities is key to promoting health, prosperity, equity, and ecological sustainability. The expansion of Africa’s urban population is taking place largely in secondary cities: these are broadly defined as cities with fewer than half a million people that are not national political or economic centres. The implications of secondary urbanization have recently been described by the Cities Alliance as “a real knowledge gap”, requiring much additional research not least because it poses new intellectual challenges for academic researchers and governance challenges for policy-makers. International researchers coming from multiple points of view including food studies, urban studies, and sustainability studies, are starting to heed the call for further research into the implications for food security of rapidly growing secondary cities in Africa. 

This book will combine this research and feature comparable case studies, intersecting trends, and shed light on broad concepts including governance, sustainability, health, economic development, and inclusivity. 

This is an open access book.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Canada

    Liam Riley, Jonathan Crush

About the editors

Jonathan Crush is University Research Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and Professor Extraordinary at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. He obtained his first degree at Cambridge University and  his M.A. at  Laurier  and Ph.D. at Queen’s University. He has taught at the National University of Lesotho, the University of Alberta and Queen’s University and has published extensively on African development, migration and food security.  He is currently Director of the Hungry Cities Partnership, a global network focused on the governance of urban food systems under conditions of rapid urbanization.

Dr Liam Riley works on several inter-related projects investigating food security and food systems in Africa’s rapidly growing cities. He holds a PhD (2013) and MA (2008) in Geography from Western University in London, Canada and a BA (2003) in East Asian Studies and African Studies from McGill University. Liamheld a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2016) and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (2016-2019) at the BSIA at Wilfrid Laurier University where he is currently an Adjunct Faculty member. His work is rooted in fieldwork in Malawi, Cameroon, South Africa, and Botswana that uses a host of qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate gendered household food strategies in urban Africa and the political economic dimensions of urban food security as a development challenge.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Transforming Urban Food Systems in Secondary Cities in Africa

  • Editors: Liam Riley, Jonathan Crush

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-93071-4Published: 03 November 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-93074-5Published: 31 July 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-93072-1Published: 02 November 2022

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIX, 402

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 b/w illustrations, 19 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Human Geography, Urban Studies/Sociology, Public Policy, Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy, Sociology, general

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