1st Edition

Urban Food Planning Seeds of Transition in the Global North

By Rositsa T. Ilieva Copyright 2016
    268 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This highly original work examines the rise of the urban food planning movement in the Global North and provides insights into the new relationship between cities and food which has started developing over the past decade. It sheds light on cities as new spaces for food system innovation and on food as a tool for sustainable urban development. Drawing insights from the literature on socio-technical transitions, the book presents examples of pioneering urban food planning endeavours from North America and Western Europe (especially the Netherlands and the UK). These are integrated into a single mosaic helping to uncover the conceptual, analytical, design, and organizational innovations emerging at the interface of food and urban policy and planning.

    The author shows how promising "seeds of transition" to a shared urban food planning agenda are in the making, though the urban food planning niche as a whole still lacks the necessary maturity to lastingly influence mainstream planning practices and the dominant agri-food system regime. Some of the strategic levers to cope with the current instability and limitations of urban food planning and effectively transition it from a marginal novelty to a normalized domain of policy, research, and practice are systematically examined to this end. The conclusions and recommendations put forward have major implications for scholars, activists, and public officials seeking to radically transform the co-evolution of food, cities, and the environment.


    Arnold van der Valk 

    1. Why Urban Food Planning? 

    2. Food and the City of Tomorrow 

    3. Bridging Food and Planning 

    4. Seeing the City through a Food System Lens 

    5. Urban Food Planning in the Public Domain 

    6. The Untapped Potential of New Urban Development 

    7. New Governance Arenas for Food Policy and Planning 

    8. A Journey that has Just Begun


    Rositsa T. Ilieva has a PhD in Spatial Planning and Urban Development and an MSc in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy. Until 2015, she was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Urban Food Systems at the Tishman Environment and Design Center (TEDC) of The New School, New York City, USA. At present, she is an adjunct lecturer at the Parsons School of Design and at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the same university.

    "The work of Rositsa Ilieva represents a new surge in urban food planning research, a field of expertise which has developed into a full-fledged branch of planning. One important benchmark of emancipation of the field of urban food planning is the application of theories of social change, such as the theories of socio-technical transition used in this book, to better understand the field’s recent past and prospects for future evolution... This book explores new practical and theoretical dimensions of the emerging field of urban food planning and urban agriculture. As such it is part of a global transition towards a sustainable future." – From the Foreword by Arnold van der Valk, Professor of Land Use Planning, Wageningen University, The Netherlands 

    "This book offers a systematic reflection on the relation between the emergence of new social practices linked to food and a traditional kind of institutional practice – urban planning. Analysing the growing interest for food and the innovative development of food policies in Europe and North America, Rositsa Ilieva shows how this can be a new lever for making planning more responsible and cities more sustainable and attractive." – Alessandro Balducci, Professor of Planning and Urban Policies, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and former Alderman of City Planning and Agriculture of the City of Milan, Italy 

    "This groundbreaking study traces the evolution of urban food planning from marginal to mainstream. It frames diverse food policies and plans as strategic innovations that not only address health, environmental, and social problems, but also position cities to drive broader food system change. It is an essential read for planning scholars and practitioners." – Nevin Cohen, Associate Professor of Health/Urban Food Policy, City University of New York, USA

    "Urban Food Planning is one of the few books that gives a detailed history of the recent food systems planning movement, connecting the institutional field of planning with food."- Alexandra Judelsohn, Research AssociateUniversity at Buffalo State, University of New York, Built Environment Journal, Vol, No 3