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Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa

  • Book
  • © 2016


  • Includes exercises and examples of modelling techniques for food security
  • Alerts readers to the nature and urgency of the global food insecurity crisis
  • Changes how we think about food insecurity and the solutions proposed for its mitigation
  • Includes supplementary material:

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About this book

This book investigates food security and the implications of hyper-urbanisation and rapid growth of urban populations in Africa. By means of a series of case studies involving African cities of various sizes, it argues that, while the concept of food security holds value, it needs to be reconfigured to fit the everyday realities and distinctive trajectory of urbanisation in the region. The book goes on to discuss the urban context, where food insecurity is more a problem of access and changing consumption patterns than of insufficient food production. In closing, it approaches food insecurity in Africa as an increasingly urban problem that requires different responses from those applied to rural populations.

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Table of contents (13 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • International Migration Research Centre, Balsillie School of Intern Affairs International Migration Research Centre, Waterloo, Canada

    Jonathan Crush

  • African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town African Centre for Cities, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa

    Jane Battersby

About the editors

Jonathan Crush was raised in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. After completing his first degree at Cambridge University, he moved to Canada and completed his M.A. at Wilfrid Laurier University and Ph.D. at Queen’s University. The initial focus of his research was the history of the colonial and apartheid migrant labour system in Southern Africa. His research and policy work on contemporary migration and development began during the 1990s, when he and South African colleagues at the University of Cape Town, through an IDRC-funded project, pursued policy alternatives to the destructive South African mine migration system. In the mid-1990s, Canadian efforts to engage with South Africa provided new opportunities to research the policy implications of migration movements to post-apartheid South Africa with African colleagues and using funding from the CIDA, DFID and OSF.

Jane Battersby is an urban social and cultural geographer with ongoing research interests through Urban Food Security as part of the CIDA-funded AFSUN programme (AFSUN website) and the Formas-funded 'Ways of Knowing' project, which aims to use interdisciplinary approaches to reflect on the values inherent in the management of green spaces in urban areas. She is also a member of the SANPAD-funded project, "Healthy Cities for Children" with the UCT’s Children’s Institute.

She has particular interests in urban food systems and the construction of food security theory in Northern and Southern research contexts. She has an ongoing interest in the linkages between spatial transformation and identity transformation in post-apartheid urban areas - a topic she has addressed through the lenses of youth identities, education, music and land restitution.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Rapid Urbanisation, Urban Food Deserts and Food Security in Africa

  • Editors: Jonathan Crush, Jane Battersby

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

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

  • Copyright Information: Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-43566-4Published: 05 October 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-82857-2Published: 14 June 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-43567-1Published: 23 September 2016

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 190

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations, 21 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Human Geography, Urban Geography / Urbanism (inc. megacities, cities, towns), Population Economics, Food Science

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