Comparing cities of the world according to their food security risks and opportunities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Due to the combined effect of climate change, expected population growth and increased concentration of population in cities and towns, food insecurity in urban areas is becoming of increasing concern and is regarded as one of the most prominent development challenges for the 21st century. Cities differ with respect to their specific food security risks and opportunities of local food supply to meet the increasing demand for food. The tool “Global Metropolitan Detector” has been developed to compare cities of the world based on different dimensions of food security, particularly availability, accessibility, and affordability of food, risk of floods and climate change, and healthy diets. Worldwide publicly available datasets, e.g. from FAOSTAT, EarthStat and WorldClim, are used. These are separately converted (aggregated/disaggregated) to a homogenous 5 arc-minute grid and combined in the tool to calculate (by weighted average) and compare the demand and local supply of food, including the required area of land to meet the city-specific consumption needs (measured in “Food Metres”). The purpose is to benchmark 850 cities based on several aspects related to food security. The resulting benchmark of cities and their indicator values can be visualised in maps showing their position with respect to food security in general, or investigate particular aspects in more detail, e.g. cities having low/high flood risks or cities that are better able to meet the demand of (fresh) vegetables and fruit from local producers. The maps can support policymakers to identify causes and locations of food insecurity, and the indicative results – based on limited available worldwide data – can serve as an inducement for further investigation with more detailed data from cities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development and Planning X
EditorsG. Passerini, N. Marchettini
PublisherWIT Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781784662929
ISBN (Print)9781784662912
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2018
EventUrban Agriculture 2018: 10th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning - New Forest, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Oct 201811 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment


ConferenceUrban Agriculture 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNew Forest


  • Benchmarking
  • Cities
  • Climate
  • FAO
  • Food metres
  • Food secure
  • GIS
  • Metropolitan
  • Urban


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparing cities of the world according to their food security risks and opportunities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this