Hungry Cities Initiative: Governance, Rapid Urbanization and Urban Food Security in the Global South

Professor Bruce Frayne discusses the origins of the Hungry Cities Initiative

Funding generously provided by:

CIGI Strategic Research Initiative

Meet the research team:

Jonathan Crush, CIGI Chair in Global Migration and Development; and Professor at the Balsillie School and Laurier

Bruce Frayne, Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Development Practice at UW

Jennifer Clapp, Associate Dean of Research in UW’s Faculty of Environment; Chair in Global Environmental Governance; and Professor in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies

Andrea Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science at Laurier

Alison Blay-Palmer, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts at Laurier


This Strategic Research Initiative confronts the inadequate frameworks and models used to think about food security in the context of the urban transition underway in the Global South and the resulting policy challenges. 

Over the next 30 years, virtually all of the anticipated increase in world population will occur in cities of the Global South. By 2030, Africa’s urban population will be larger than its rural, with a projected increase of 367 million city dwellers. 

Researchers, urban planners, civil society, the private sector and the international development community recognize that urban food security and sustainable city growth will be critical to the future of humanity in this “century of cities.”

Guided by the belief that national and city governments, assisted by international organizations and donors, should increasingly play a role in creating policy environments that facilitate sustainable pathways of rapid urbanization, project members will reframe the global, regional and sub-regional governance responses and formulate a new agenda for the critically important links between food security and urbanization, migration, climate change and health.

Project activity: