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News Call for papers 2019: AESOP 'Sustainable food planning' group

Agroecological transitions confronting climate breakdown: Food planning for the post-carbon city

There is increasing scientific evidence that we are approaching a tipping point on climate change, in which self-reinforcing feedbacks will accelerate deterioration on a global scale. Urban food systems are a major contributor to the climate change, as well as highly vulnerable to it, in a non homogeneous way: distressed urban areas and vulnerable populations will suffer more the impacts.

Urban areas account for nearly 60 % of energy use and 70 % of CO2 emissions (IEA, 2008). As goals are set for greenhouse gas emissions, self-sufficiency in energy, and adaptation to climate change, much prominence is given to urban plans for sustainable mobility and energy efficiency in the built environment. We want to draw attention to the food issue, -which in fact has strong implications in terms of energy and emissions – connecting the already mainstream claims for territorialized food systems based on solidarity relationships and shifting diets, to the challenges related to climate change and ecosocial breakdown’s threat.

In this conference we approach the problem with an agroecological lense, to discuss the implications of the deep changes needed, in terms of degrowth, social justice and contesting the political and economic hegemony. 

Climate change has cascading effects that should be addressed through corresponding cascading decisions across the urban-region. We invite you to share knowledge and experience on planning the agroecological transition, and reorienting current food systems. 

We invite you to discuss in which ways planning instruments and processes are levers of the required public support towards territorialized food systems, diversified agroecological production, local logistic and retail infrastructures, adapted technologies and new organization of an envisioned close-loop cycle of food production, and consumption. Is resilience a concept strong enough to face the ecological crisis or a more radical approach is needed? Are we talking about impacting unequal power relations and distributions of resources? About placing farming/primary sector at a central position in economy? About placing the rural world at a central position in food planning? Or about self contained city, frugal urbanity, city-region’s self-reliance and austerity?

Tracks / themes.

  • Agroecological transition contributing to energy and eco-social transition and the implications of different spatial scales for processes of adaptation     and mitigation. For up-scaling and out-scaling, lessons can be drown     from other sectors (energy, mobility). Which kind of spatial plans act as triggers for the transition? Can they foster alliances to develop hybrid systems? Is it possible to plan urban food systems that integrate unpredictable innovation in a context of climate change and vice versa, may innovation be facilitated by spatial plans that create enabling environments? (like access to means of production and logistics, knowledge, seeds, water…) Food consumption needs to be anchored to local/regional agroecological production and productive capacity needs in turn to be improved. We are looking for new reference values and models, and scientific evidence adapted to new conditions.
  • Agroecological urbanism calls for thinking the ‘urban’ side of the food system. How to unlock mechanisms and shape new economic, political and cultural forces to reconfigure the agrifood system, from inside the city? Urbanism entitled to ease the adaptation of urban metabolism to local resources, entails changing behavioural patterns. Arel  neighbourhoods being transformed into living labs? How to facilitate learning processes and transformative action? How to design food value chains integrating nutrition and sustainability principles? How to achieve synergies with other plans (Air quality, mobility, community health…)?
  • Food democracy is a cornerstone in the collective definition of the new foodscape, be it one of transition, radical transformation or coexistence of both. Grassroot movements complain that it is them that incubate innovations to be later co opted by corporations. Should urbanism contribute to avoid that radical agroecology and food sovereignty are drained away in the process? Who will be the social actors in reshaping urban food systems? How the process is affected by times of social unrest? How to deal in food planning with asymmetries in power? What can be the contributions from a “political agroecology”  moving away from technical approaches and .opening discussion on the commons goods?


Note: this conference is open to all, academics, practitioners, civil servants and grassroots activists – members and non-members of the AESOP ‘Sustainable food planning’ group. We encourage participants to join the group -which is free of charge- by emailing the secretary (Arnold Van Der Valk, and joining our JISC mailing list here:

Submission of abstracts:

To submit your abstract, please fill in the form here: Link for submission

If you have problems with the link, please use this template and send it directly to

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1st April 2019

Conference outputs

Beside the conference proceedings, which will be published online after the conference, we are looking to produce one or more high-quality academic publications (a book, a journal special issue or both) with the most interesting works presented at the conference. Participants that wish to be considered for selection will be asked to send a draft of their paper (min 3000 words) in advance of the conference. More details will follow.

Key dates:

Call for papers released: end of January 2019

Abstract submission deadline: 1stApril 2019

Notification of acceptance: by 20th May 2019

Registration opens: 1st June 2019

Registration ‘early birds’ ends: 12nd July 2019

Deadline for long abstracts/draft papers (3000 words): 31 July 2019

Deadline for full papers (invited only): 20th October 2019

Fees and registration

For any further question:

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information aesopsfp
Geographical coverage Spain,
News date 13/03/2019
Working language(s) ENGLISH