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The role of cities in good governance for food security: lessons from Madrid’s urban food strategy

Zerbian, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-5961-2242 & de Luis Romero, E. (2021). The role of cities in good governance for food security: lessons from Madrid’s urban food strategy. Territory, Politics, Governance, 11(4), pp. 794-812. doi: 10.1080/21622671.2021.1873174


Cities have become increasingly involved in food security concerns that go far beyond their boundaries by rescaling food governance to a more local level. While the role of cities as new food policy actors has attracted increased interest, few studies have critically analysed urban food governance. Critical accounts of these new governance configurations are particularly necessary, and more relevant in times of crises, as good governance is crucial in tackling the root causes of food insecurity. This study contributes to the debate around urban food governance, focusing on Madrid’s urban food strategy. It applies an adaptation of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) analytical framework for good governance for food security. The study shows that new urban food governance arrangements can create more inclusive, democratic solutions to food security. However, these arrangements do not guarantee good governance, and many challenges remain, such as the operationalization of urban food policies and contextual barriers. More broadly, this study demonstrates that critical assessments of governance for food security can identify the deficiencies in the current system and help address current barriers to good governance.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: food security; good governance; food democracy; urban food governance; urban food policy; right to food
Subjects: J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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