Urban food futures: changing the fate of our food environments

Urban food futures: changing the fate of our food environments
Urban Food Futures 2035 Logo
18 May 2021
A new project launches to explore inner city food environments up to 2035 and how they can be changed for the better.

Our friends at Impact on Urban Health (IoUH), together with School of International Futures and Shift, have imagined Urban Food Futures. By 2035, 85% of people in the UK will be living in urban areas, families will have to spend more on food, and they will have less access to affordable, nutritious food.

Combining this forecast with ever deepening social and health inequalities, and the climate crisis providing shocks to the food system, it is clear the future of food needs a rethink. Urban Food Futures is using future analysis, community research and engagement with those working in the food system in order to reimagine the food environment.

The research includes interviews with families living on low incomes in Lambeth and Southwark who firmly believe that access to good food is a right, not a luxury but wonder whether policy makers agree.

The Urban Food Futures report identifies four ‘platforms for change’ in order to achieve a more equitable food system:

  • Enshrine universal access to healthy food as a right
  • Enable local communities to demand better and influence the changes they want to see
  • Support and promote values-led actors, such as purposeful food businesses, in the food system
  • Raise the regulatory floor to discourage behaviour that damages the food environment

Based on these four platforms, Urban Food Futures aims to build a consensus around a reimagined 2035. You can find out more on the project’s website here.